Court records reveal name of second person in Harahan bribery scheme
Federal court records identify the second individual in a scheme to bribe Harahan Police Chief Mac Dickinson as Zuhair Ameer Hamad, father of the man already arrested in the case. Jihad Hatem Hamad, 26, of Gretna, was arrested Friday by the FBI and Harahan Police and booked with conspiracy to commit public bribery.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said Monday that Jihad Hamad and a “wealthy individual” paid Dickinson in exchange for his help in obtaining a high-content liquor license for Hamad’s business, Harahan Cheap Smokes, 6942 Jefferson Highway. Zuhair Ameer Hamad is identified as that individual in a criminal complaint that was unsealed by the court Monday.
Read the complaint here: Hamad complaint.pdf
Details revealed in arrest of Harahan businessman on federal bribery charge
Federal investigators say the owner of a Harahan convenience store and a second, unidentified person arranged to Harahan Police Chief Mac Dickinson $3,000 to secure his support of a liquor license for the business. Jihad Hatem Hamad, 26, of Gretna was arrested Friday and booked with conspiracy to commit public bribery, according to Special Agent Sheila Thorne, spokeswoman for the FBI.
Dickinson contacted the FBI in March after Hamad asked the chief to back his application for a high-content liquor license at his business, Harahan Cheap Smokes, 6942, Jefferson Highway, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office. Hamad told Dickinson said a “wealthy individual” would be willing to make a contribution to his campaign if he agreed, Letten’s office said.
After Dickinson contacted the FBI, agents coordinated recorded surveillance of several conversations and meetings between the chief and the unidentified individual. That person eventually gave Dickinson $3,000 to secure his support. Hamad and the individual also had the chief place the license application on Thursday’s Harahan City Council agenda, Letten’s office said.
Hamad appeared before the council Thursday night to speak about the license. But city officials deferred any action, telling him that he was missing certain paperwork to complete the application.
Investigators obtained a warrant for Hamad the next day. He was arrested Friday at 2 p.m. at the convenience store, Letten’s office said.
FBI arrests Harahan businessman, books him with conspiracy to commit bribery
Federal and local authorities are expected to release more details today about the arrest of a man accused of conspiracy to commit bribery in Harahan. Jihad Hamad, 25, who is believed to live in Gretna, was taken into custody Friday by the FBI, according to Special Agent Sheila Thorne, spokeswoman for the agency.
Hamad’s arrest came one day after he appeared before the Harahan City Council on Thursday night with an application for a high-content alcohol license for his convenience store, Harahan Cheap Smokes, 6942 Jefferson Highway, Harahan.