New Orleans, La. - The owner of a Harahan tobacco store has been arrested for allegedly bribing Harahan's Police Chief in exchange for a liquor license. 26-year-old Jihad Hatem Hamad of Gretna is facing federal charges public bribery and conspiracy to use a facility of interstate commerce, namely a telephone, to promote an unlawful activity.
Hamad was arrested at his place of business, Harahan Cheap Smokes on Friday, June 22nd. According to US Attorney Jim Letten, Harahan Police Chief Jacob "Mac" Dickinson contacted the FBI after he was approached by Hamad, requesting support for his liquor license application for his store.
According to federal documents, Hamad told Dickinson that another wealthy individual would be willing to make a campaign contribution if Dickinson supported his application for the liquor license at Harahan Cheap Smokes.
Letten says Dickinson began working with the FBI and made covert recordings of several meetings with an unnamed individual allegedly working on Hamad's behalf. That individual allegedly paid Dickinson $3,000 in exchange for Dickinson not objecting to the issuance of a liquor license for Hamad's business and arranging to have the defendant's application for a license placed on the agenda of the Harahan City Council.
In a statement from Harahan Police Chief Jacob "Mac" Dickinson he says, "Harahan welcomes legitimate businesses to develop and expand, but not through payoffs and schemes to circumvent the law. We owe it to the business owners in Harahan to apply the same standards to all."