AP NEWS

Prosecutors: 6 accused of corruption in Chicago suburb

March 7, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors accused six people of government corruption Wednesday, including alleging that the brother of a suburban Chicago mayor extorted payments from a strip club in order to keep its doors open.

The Justice Department announced the six were charged as part of an ongoing investigation of alleged corruption in the government of Harvey, Illinois.

Rommell Kellogg, 66, and Corey Johnson, 63, are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. The men, who are cousins, stand accused of extorting payments from a Harvey strip club owner between 2012 and 2016 by threatening to shut down the business. The city allowed the business to operate despite knowing acts of prostitution were taking place there, prosecutors said.

Kellogg is the brother of Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg. Prosecutors also describe Johnson as the cousin of a police personnel officer who’s the brother of Kellogg and the “de facto” head of the city’s Building and Planning Department. That person is identified as “Individual B” in the criminal complaint.

Two Harvey police officers, Derrick Muhammad, 70, and Derrick Moore, 48, are charged with falsifying police reports to shield their friends from gun charges. The acquaintances, a father and son, were convicted felons who could not legally possess a firearm, according to the charges.

In addition, former Dixmoor Mayor Donald Luster, 55, who worked as a private consultant for Harvey, and Will Wiley, 56, are charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.

They allegedly solicited bribes from the owner of a towing company, but the owner was secretly cooperating with law enforcement and recorded conversations with the pair. In one recorded meeting, the undercover operative paid a cash bribe of $5,000 to Wiley, according to court documents.

Five of the six men appeared in court Wednesday and were released on their own recognizance. Rommell Kellogg was not in custody Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said.

After the hearing in U.S. District Court, Derrick Moore’s attorney said that based on what he heard from federal prosecutors, it is possible more charges could result from their investigation.

FBI agents arrived at the Harvey Police Department early Wednesday.

“This morning the Federal Investigators entered the Harvey Police Department,” Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg said in a statement. “I have informed the chief of police to cooperate fully with the investigators.”

Kellogg said his administration won’t make further comment because an investigation is ongoing.