A cousin of former Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg has pleaded guilty to collecting bribes during a federal investigation of longtime political corruption in the south suburb.
According to a federal complaint filed in 2019, Kellogg spent years shaking down a strip club owner of thousands of dollars a month in exchange for allowing prostitution in the club. He wasn’t charged in the complaint, which referred to him only as “Individual A” and “Mayor of the City of Harvey.”
But his cousin, Corey Johnson, was charged with collecting bribes from the now-closed club, Arnie’s Idle Hour, and delivering the cash to Kellogg’s brother Rommell Kellogg, who’s also charged in the corruption case.
On Monday, Johnson pleaded guilty to theft of government funds, referring to $35,000 the FBI secretly provided to the club’s manager to pay bribes to Johnson on a dozen occasions from October 2017 and April 2018.
According to prosecutors, Johnson accepted another $500,000 in bribes from the club between 2003 and October 2017. Because Johnson accepted responsibility for his role as a bagman in the alleged bribery scheme, prosecutors say they’ll recommend he get a sentence of less than six months in prison.
Rommell Kellogg faces a trial that’s scheduled for Dec. 4. Prosecutors have asked the court to bar him from introducing evidence at the trial related to the government’s investigative strategy and charging decisions involving his brother Eric, who was mayor of the financially distressed city from 2003 to 2019.
In 2020, Eric Kellogg’s brother Derrick Muhammad was sentenced to nine months in prison for using his position as a Harvey police officer to cover up a felon’s possession of a stolen Uzi submachine gun found in a towed vehicle.
Muhammad faces trial on May 13 on separate federal charges of using his badge to steer vehicle-towing jobs in Harvey to private companies in exchange for bribes from 2011 to 2019.