FBI says it has Zimmermann on tape accepting bribe

5:31 PM, Sep 10, 2005   |    comments
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The FBI says it has Minneapolis City Councilmember Dean Zimmermann on tape accepting bribes in return for political favors. In court documents obtained by KARE 11, the FBI agent says Zimmermann was given bribes in exchange for his support on a rezoning issue that came before city council. Zimmermann allegedly took $5,000 last year and is said to have needed the money to repay a legal bill. The court documents say Zimmermann also took bribes totaling $2,200 for his re-election campaign. Thursday night, FBI agents raided the city councilman's house and council office. They removed computers, files, documents, voter lists and mailing labels along with other financial documents. Zimmermann's campaign spokeswoman says the councilman had no idea why the FBI was at his house until he heard the allegations on the news. "What you reported on the news was the first we've heard of any of this. We had not received a copy of this, (the affidavit) we had not heard anything about it than what we heard you report. So, you have more information than we do. It's my understanding that what they are claiming here is not accurate, simply is not accurate," stated Zimmermann campaign coordinator Lauren Maker. The building at the center of the rezoning issue is located at the corner of 24th and Chicago Avenue South and the builder wanted it rezoned to include more commercial space, but Zimmermann voted against the rezoning, even though he allegedly took a bribe to support the rezoning. The affidavit also says that in June of this year, Zimmermann was recorded talking to the man working with the FBI about the rezoning issue and Zimmermann was heard saying he needed, "money, money, money." The Green Party member represents the six ward. Zimmermann is running for a second term against DFL candidate Robert Lilligren. Lilligren is also a member of the Minneapolis City Council, but the two are running against each other because of redistricting.

(Copyright 2005 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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