A south suburban mayor was accused of lying under oath and obstructing justice during a civil lawsuit that claimed he retaliated against a former city vendor, a federal indictment alleged.
Riverdale Mayor Lawrence Jackson, 49, falsely testified during a deposition for the 2018 civil lawsuit against him and the village, according to the indictment, released Thursday. He was charged with one count of perjury and another for obstruction of justice.
In the suit, a waste management company claimed Jackson refused to renew the company’s contract with the village and instead granted approval for another garbage collection business to operate in Riverdale.
The lawsuit, filed by Riverdale-based Tri-State Disposal Inc., also alleged that Jackson helped out the other company because of a personal relationship between Jackson and the owner, according to the charges. The business owner was not named in the indictment.
While testifying under oath in 2021, Jackson falsely claimed he didn’t know the owner of the new garbage collection company and he was introduced to them by the Riverdale village administrator, the indictment alleged.
However, a federal investigation found that Jackson and the business owner did have a history with the owner and exchanged text messages about the topics discussed during the deposition process, according to the charges.
Jackson and his wife formed Centennial Holdings, a trucking company, in 2018. While Jackson owned Centennial on paper, the owner of the new waste management business operated the trucking company on Jackson’s behalf, the indictment said.
The owner financed Centennial’s operations with a loan that covered the company’s operating costs including trucks, fuel, insurance and licensing, the indictment alleges. That loan was never fully repaid, according to the charges.
Jackson could face up to 20 years in federal prison for the obstruction charge and a maximum of five years for perjury.