May 19, 2022

Former Detroit Public Library Contractors Sentenced on Bribery Charges

From the AP via Detroit Free Press:

Two former Detroit Public Library contractors are going to federal prison and have to pay $1.5 million in restitution for paying bribes to a former library official, the U.S. Attorneys office announced today.

James Henley, 44, of Detroit, and Ricardo Hearn, 32, of Royal Oak, were sentenced to 27 months and 28 months, respectively, by U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh, who also ordered each man to pay $750,000 in restitution to the Detroit Public Library. The sentences were handed down Tuesday.

More From the U.S. Department of Justice:

According to court records, Henley and Hearn paid former Detroit Public Library Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Cromer a total of $1.4 million in kickbacks in return for contracts for information technology services with the Detroit Public Library during the period 2007 to 2010. After being confronted by federal law enforcement officials, Henley and Hearn both cooperated in the prosecution of Cromer. On September 16, 2014, Cromer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the bribery conspiracy, and ordered to pay $3,913,890.42 in restitution to the library.

Henley owned a company called Core Consulting & Professional Services. Cromer approved a proposal submitted by Core Consulting to provide information technology work, and approved various extensions and change orders to the contract.

Ultimately, the Library paid Core Consulting almost $2 million under the contract, and Henley secretly paid kickbacks to Cromer totaling over $650,000 during the period 2007 to 2008. Henley also pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for the year 2007. Hearn, who owned Cubemation LLC, paid Cromer kickbacks totaling about $800,000 in exchange for Cromer approving no-bid professional services contracts for Hearn’s company to perform information technology services for the library from 2008 until 2010. Cubemation received about $3.2 million in payments from the Detroit Public Library

See Also: Ex-Detroit Library Official Timothy Cromer Sentenced to Ten Years (by Lisa Peet, Library Journal; November 10, 2014)

See Also: Detroit Contractor Indicted for Library Kickbacks (by Meredith Schwartz, Library Journal; February 1, 2013)

See Also: FBI Raids Main Branch of the Detroit Public Library Looking for Financial Records (November 20, 2012)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.