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Chatham Area Transit officials indicted in bribery, kickback scheme

The Chatham County Courthouse

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The executive director and maintenance director of the Chatham Area Transit Authority were indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Savannah, Georgia, for their alleged roles in a bribery and kickback scheme.

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, from April of 2014 to the present, Chadwick L. Reese, 44, and Joel T. Morris, 53, used their official positions at CAT to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting cash and other payments in exchange for rigging the award of CAT contracts to selected individuals and companies.

Reese, CAT's executive director, and Morris, CAT's director of maintenance, each face multiple counts of mail fraud and extortion.  Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release.  Each count of extortion also carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release.

An indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  The Defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Savannah and Jacksonville offices of the FBI.