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Ex-Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler leaves federal prison after bribe conviction

Tyler was transferred to community confinement, which means the inmate is in either home confinement or a residential reentry center, also known as a halfway house.

MUNCIE, Ind. — A former eastern Indiana mayor has been released from a federal prison with more than six months remaining on his one-year term after pleading guilty to taking a bribe.

Dennis Tyler, Muncie's mayor from 2012 through 2019, was released Thursday from the Federal Correctional Institution in Morgantown, West Virginia. He began serving a one-year sentence there last December.

(NOTE: The video in the player above is a Nov. 2021 report on Dennis Tyler being sentenced.)

Tyler was transferred to community confinement overseen by the Bureau of Prisons' St. Louis Residential Reentry Management Office, the bureau said.

Community confinement means the inmate is in either home confinement or a residential reentry center, also known as a halfway house.

Tyler's projected date of release from federal custody is Oct. 14.

Tyler reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in May 2021 to plead guilty to one count of theft of government funds. In the plea agreement, Tyler admitted to receiving $5,000 in 2015 to direct nearly $110,000 in demolition work to an unnamed company.

The unnamed company wrote the check for the $5,000 payment and it was delivered to Tyler by a Muncie Sanitary District official who was later indicted by a grand jury for "fraudulently steering contracts to preferred contractors, and soliciting and accepting kickbacks in the form of cash, cash equivalents, or contributions, to [himself] and other Muncie employees." 

RELATED: Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler charged with theft of government funds

Tyler, a Democrat, was indicted in the bribery case in late 2019 just weeks before his eight years as Muncie's mayor ended.

He's among nearly a dozen other government employees and contractors that were charged as a result of "Operation Public Trust," a yearslong federal investigation into Muncie city officials that began in 2016.

Last November he was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay $15,250 in restitution.

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