Beaumont – In recent weeks, two former Beaumont officials pled guilty in one of the inland region’s most recent cases of political corruption.
Former Beaumont Police Chief Francis Dennis Coe, plead guilty on Wednesday, October 18 to a single count of misdemeanor conspiracy. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service. The court simultaneously dismissed two counts related to the misappropriation of funds., stemming from a number of interest-free and purportedly illegal city loans that totaled more than $50,000 which has already been repaid.
On Friday, Deepak Moorjani, Beaumont’s former Planning Director pled guilty to one felony count of conflict of interest and agreed to pay the city $3 million in restitution. Moorjani was also sentenced to three years’ probation.
As part of his plea, Moorjani admitted to personally profiting during his time as the city’s Planning Director by diverting millions of dollars in transportation infrastructure funding to a company he owned with two other Beaumont city officials—Egger and Dillon—Urban Logic Consultants. Moorjani who signed off on city payments to Urban Logic Construction from bond construction funds for engineering work.
In addition to Coe and Moorjani, charges remain pending against additional former Beaumont officials, including former City Manager Alan Kapanicas, former City Attorney Joseph Aklufi, former Finance Director William K. Aylward, former Planning Director Ernest A. Egger, and former Economic Development Director David W. Dillon.
Charges against Coe, Moorjani, and the other defendants stemmed from allegations related to a wide-ranging policy of corruption perpetuated by these officials from 1994 through 2012, which led to the diversion of nearly $43.2 million dollars to Urban Logic Consultants.
The five remaining defendants maintain their innocence. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2018.