Muncie Mayor Arrested By FBI, Accused Of Theft Of Government Funds

MUNCIE, Ind.  — The mayor of Muncie has been arrested by FBI agents.

Mayor Dennis Tyler(D) was taken into custody on Monday morning. An unsealed indictment reveals he faces one count of theft of government funds.

The indictment states that Tyler accepted $5,000 from Tracy Barton via an unnamed third party in exchange for awarding contracts to that person’s business.

Barton, who was indicted in 2018, was Muncie’s Superintendent of Sewer Maintenance and Engineering for the Muncie Sanitary District.

The FBI has been investigating the city of Muncie for public corruption for three years, and has indicted a total of six public officials in that time.

If convicted, Mayor Tyler faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Tyler, a Democrat, has served as the mayor of Muncie since 2012. He did not run for reelection this year. Beginning in 2006, he became a state representative and served the Muncie area for six years. He served on committees that focused on veteran’s affairs, public safety, employment labor, pensions, roads and transportation, autism, people with disabilities, and government reform.

In 2016, Tyler stated that the FBI was looking into the city’s government for possible wrongdoing.

City offices were searched by the FBI in 2017. At the time, the city refused to answer questions about the search. When asked why the FBI showed up, a Muncie city attorney replied “you know as much as I do.”

In January, former building commissioner Craig Nichols was sentenced to two years in prison for money laundering and wire fraud. He was building commissioner from 2012 through mid-2018.

In July, Muncie Sanitary District Administrator Debra Grigsby was arrested for steering contracts in exchange for kickback payments.