- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A retired traffic consultant known for work across the Midwest has been sentenced to four months in prison for providing illegal payments to a city official in Iowa.

Former Brown Traffic Products executive Robert Budd Jr. pleaded guilty last year to bribery charges. But the 73-year-old veteran had been seeking probation, noting that he’s in poor health.

Budd admitted that he approved payments to Bettendorf, Iowa city electrician Robert Webster for travel, meals, drinks and entertainment, including tickets to NASCAR events and a $2,700 check to Webster’s wife.

The payments were intended to influence Webster to continue doing business with Davenport-based Brown, which provided traffic control equipment to Bettendorf. Webster will be sentenced in March. Two other former executives have already been convicted.

U.S. District Judge John Jarvey on Wednesday approved a downward departure from guidelines that called for a longer prison term, giving Budd credit for cooperating. He ordered Budd to self-surrender to prison at a later date and fined him $25,000.

Budd, who retired in 2009, has won praise for helping install traffic systems in cities such as West Des Moines and Little Rock.

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