Former Detroit library official sentenced Tuesday in bribery case

Timothy Cromer given 10 years in prison for taking more than $1 million


DETROIT – Local 4 cameras were rolling Tuesday morning as Timothy Cromer walked into federal court to be sentenced.

Cromer was convicted of taking more than $1.4 million in bribes and kickbacks while he was the chief administrative and technology officer of the Detroit Public Library.

The money-making scheme:

Cromer, 47, was charged earlier this year with a 21-county indictment. Two contractors, James Henley and Ricardo Hearn, were also named in the indictment.

According to the charges, Cromer helped Henley create a business called Core Consulting and Professional Services and then instructed him to submit a proposal for information technology services at the library.

Cromer arranged for Core to win the bid and approved various change orders and extensions, causing the library to pay Core a total of about $1.8 million.

Henley allegedly kicked back about $500,000 to Cromer until Core's contract with the library was terminated in January 2008. Henley kicked back an additional $125,000 to Cromer as he continued to approve the invoices.

Cromer is also charged with receiving kickbacks from Hearn between 2008 and 2010. Hearn did information technology services at the Detroit Public Library. His company, Cubemation, received $2.8 million in payments from the library, according to the indictment, and Hearn delivered about $800,000 in cash to Cromer during that time.

Cromer questions his own position:

Just how Cromer walked into the job as chief administrative and technology officer at the, making $145,000, was called mind-boggling by his lawyer in court. At the time of his hiring, Cromer only had a GED and a history of run-ins with the law.

Cromer himself said he wasn't ready for the job and apologized.

"A part of me is deeply flawed and I don't know why I did it. I know I regret it. I know it's something that I'm going to deal with for the rest of my life," he said.

The sentence:

Cromer will spend 10 years behind bars for what the judge called a breach of the public's trust. Additionally, the people who hired Cromer for the high-level position are no longer with the library.

Hearn and Henley will be sentenced in October.