Feds: Ex-DeKalb deputy chief Donald Frank took bribes
Donald E. Frank, former deputy police chief for DeKalb County, was arraigned today for allegedly accepting two bribes from a small business owner.
Prosecutors said Frank, 46, solicited the bribes from co-defendant Amin Budhwani, 46, in October 2008. The indictment describes each of the alleged bribes as “something of value of $5,000 or more.”
Frank, who was demoted to lieutenant last year, was placed on administrative leave without pay, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis’ office said this afternoon.
Here’s the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office:
FORMER DEKALB COUNTY DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF
INDICTED FOR TAKING BRIBES
Donald E. Frank Charged with Accepting Bribes from Small Business Owner
ATLANTA, GA – DONALD E. FRANK, 46, of Monroe, Georgia, was arraigned late today before United States Magistrate Judge C. Christopher Hagy, and is expected to be released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. FRANK faces federal charges of accepting bribes to influence the performance of his official duties. Co-defendant AMIN BUDHWANI, 46, of Atlanta, Georgia, was previously arraigned for giving bribes to FRANK.
“Law enforcement officers are supposed to enforce the law, not break the law,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “While the vast majority of officers obey and uphold the law, Deputy Chief Frank is charged with using his badge to line his pockets.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, said, “Because of the very nature of the crime, the FBI has made public corruption our top criminal investigative priority, noting that, unlike other crimes, it erodes public confidence and can strike at the very heart of good government. While rooting out corruption is exceptionally difficult, the FBI is well suited for the mission. In addition to the experience of our investigators and the sophisticated techniques at our disposal, many of our public corruption investigations begin with a tip from concerned citizens who encounter the corruption and report it. The FBI is always grateful to those who come forward with information that will help ensure the integrity of government, and its representatives, at all levels.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: FRANK accepted bribes from BUDHWANI on two separate occasions in October 2008. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
FRANK was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 18, 2010. BUDHWANI was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 24, 2010.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DeKalb County Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Susan Coppedge is prosecuting the case.