Archive for Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Former Junction City mayor reports to prison to begin serving time for taking bribes from Lawrence developer

April 20, 2010


— A former mayor of Junction City has reported to federal prison for taking bribes from a developer.

Michael “Mick” Wunder was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting cash and gifts from developer David Ray Freeman of Lawrence. Freeman later won contracts valued at more than $12 million to develop Junction City housing for troops and families at Fort Riley.

Wunder reported April 13 to a minimum security prison in Duluth, Minn.

Wunder admitted taking the money in a conversation recorded by investigators, but said it was for his wife’s medical bills.

Freeman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and testified for prosecutors against Wunder. He will be sentenced Thursday.


50YearResident 7 years ago

Freeman should get a double sentence for making the bribe offer.

50YearResident 7 years ago

Delivering the recipiant of a bribe you instigated does not warrand probation or a short sentance. Remember this is a Federal Crime so Dg Co judges will have no say in the matter.

50YearResident 7 years ago

Maybe you should look up penalties for bribing public officals.

lounger 7 years ago

IN no way am I suprized a mayor from junction city has had this happen. It is a scary town most of the time!

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Junction City fraud The city government invested millions of dollars in building infrastructure in advance of a housing boom.

Growth didn’t occur as planned. There is a glut of houses on the market, and hundreds of building sites are vacant.

Junction City — Doug Compton is building the biggest apartment complex he's ever done.

"It's like the wild, wild west out here," said Sinks, who sold Victory Sportswear this summer to focus on building apartments, townhomes and single-family homes in Junction City, which is adjacent to the fort. "It's like a gold rush."

The push to add residences and services in Junction City certainly has grabbed the attention - and dollars - of investors, developers and employees in Lawrence:

Compton, president of First Management Inc., is building a 600-unit apartment complex on 100 acres overlooking the interchange of Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 77. The $50 million project could add another 600 apartments - at a cost of up to $50 million more - by the end of 2009.

Roger Morningstar and partners in Red Barn Homes and Planet Construction are pumping $24 million into building 100 duplexes and another 50 single-family homes, also at the western edge of Junction City.

Doug Compton, president of First Management Inc., discusses growth in Junction City.

Sinks, Dave Freeman, Bill Skepnek and Brennan Fagan, partners in Big D Development and Construction, are spending up to $60 million to build 504 apartments and prepare another 538 lots for construction of new homes and duplexes.

Add it up, and the total spending for the three groups surpasses the $131.2 million value set for all construction, renovations, new signs and other developments for which permits were issued last year by the city of Lawrence, a community with more than four times the population of Junction City but a growth rate that has been stagnant in recent years.

'You want to be out there'... ============================ ============================ Freeman also said Tuesday that he and Wunder helped another Lawrence company -

============================ “Barnes was enthralled with this Freeman guy,” said Pete Robertson, a Junction City lawyer who worked with the Junction City Taxpayers Association, which raised a red flag about the city’s rising public debt and the activities of some of the developers."

fly_on_wall 7 years ago

This is an excellent example of corporate welfare. They bought a city official which then bought development paid for by tax dollars. The sad thing is these developers did the same thing in Lawrence until a group of conserned citizens won commissioner seats ant put a stop to the building boom. Thank God they did other wise we would be a lot worse off when the housing bubble popped. I hope people look closely into the actions of these builders.

Deja Coffin 7 years ago

lounger, I lived in Junction City for a year when I was 19 and I look back on it now and wonder what the heck I was thinking. Not all my doors locked on my house, I was a young girl living alone for some of the time, and we even had a regular peeping Tom that was thought to be some 13 year old kid. Even though I lived in some of the better parts of town, I'm shocked and thankful that nothing happened. The place is a small town with big city problems. I'm so glad to be away from there!

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

Freeman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and testified for prosecutors against Wunder. He will be sentenced Thursday.

IndusRiver 7 years ago

The city government invested millions of dollars in building infrastructure in advance of a housing boom.

Growth didn’t occur as planned. There is a glut of houses on the market, and hundreds of building sites are vacant.

Starting to sound like LDCHA

bruno2 7 years ago

So we need a new library and rec center in west larry?

middlemgmt 7 years ago

I wonder if the full story of how all these people are connected will come out?

somebodynew 7 years ago

Not as long as they make plea bargins, or roll over in the first place. Then those kind of connections are not publicly heard. I don't know, but firmly believe there is more to this story than we will ever know.

greenworld 7 years ago

So what happens to all these other guys?? Compton, Morningstar, Sinks? They all pay off somebody not to blow the whistle on them. So what these dudes made money the legal way or do they just get a free pass?

IndusRiver 7 years ago

middlemgmt -

If they're like the housing authority, and they appear to be, they are connected politically first and foremost. That's because they need their political friends in strategic locations or "public offices." Once that gets done the real party starts. Here's why. Lawrence is a heavily subsidized town because of the phenomenal growth of the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. Lawrence is also a huge college town. Underneath those two appreciably-sized institutions lie a swarm of social service agencies. The management heads of the political offices and the management heads of the housing authority are all interlaced because, essentially, they have elected one another to their respective offices. The housing authority staff, some of them, then get down to the business of writing grants. This pulls in state, but especially HUD, money. These tax dollars go who-knows-where. And I say that because the paperwork that all these agencies have (for instance, minutes from any of their various meetings) is written to such a degree of confusion that even the Greeks would be baffled. This is the paperwork that is open to the public, but for them it's unreadable and that's the intent.

In the meantime, with all of their money, they buy up the town. Power and money. It's a racket.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.