EDITORIAL/Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! Bad!
It should surprise no one that former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock and three Canton officials have been indicted by a federal grand jury on bribery charges stemming from Warnock’s reign of terror at Canton Municipal Utilities from 2016 to 2017.
Warnock has been indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.
Former CMU Commissioner Cleveland Anderson was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery. Former CMU commissioner Andrew Grant was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.
Former Canton Alderman and Mayor Pro Tempore Eric Gilkey, who also serves as a vice president at CMU, was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.
The indictment was actually handed down on Dec. 8, 2021, but unsealed last week.
According to the indictment, the four conspired to “corruptly influence and reward members of the Board of Aldermen of Canton and members of the Board of Commissioners of CMU…involving things of value of $5,000 or more…” in exchange for Warnock receiving contracts.
Warnock was ousted in January 2016 as the engineer for the Madison County Board of Supervisors during a sweeping change where three new supervisors were elected largely over suspected county fraud.
Prior to the ousting, Warnock had served as county engineer and during a seven-year period had billed the county over $20 million that is excessive by any measure.
A controversial $1.2 million airport feasibility study for MCEDA was the dead giveaway that got Warnock in so much trouble and for which the new supervisors campaigned on and the people of Madison County saw through, thanks in part to good old-fashioned news reporting by this newspaper exposing the corruption repeatedly.
Eight months after the county ousted Warnock, the crooks over at CMU hired him and they started burning through cash.
According to the indictment, Warnock paid Anderson, who made the motion to hire Warnock, along with Gilkey and Grant, in exchange for the appointment. Payments included concert tickets in New Orleans, luxury suite tickets to a New Orleans Saints football game, along with cash payments.
Rudy Warnock is bad news for taxpayers and we hope he does some time.