Gwinnett businessman pleads to bribing Gwinnett commissioner

ATLANTA — A Gwinnett County businessman this week pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bribing a Gwinnett County Commissioner in 2009 to secure approval of a proposed waste transfer station in which he held a personal stake.

Mark Gary, 39, of Duluth, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced Jan. 3, 2013.

In or about October 2008, Gary sought to develop a $4 million solid waste transfer station, which served as a way station in the trash collection process, consolidating trash from haulers for shipment to more distant landfills, according to federal authorities. Gary submitted the necessary application to obtain the requisite county approvals and permits, which would require approval by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.

“Today’s guilty plea shows that paying off a public official is a losing bet,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release. “Gwinnett County’s approval of competing real estate developments is not a game in which votes are for sale to the highest bidder. We will continue to aggressively pursue business people who corrupt the system by bribing public officials.”

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