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Topic: The never ending Rizzo Trash deal
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Governor's adviser looked into trash company at Flint official's request

l Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com By Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com
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on November 02, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated November 02, 2016 at 7:05 AM
FLINT, MI – A special adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder was asked to look into the history of a trash hauler now involved in a federal corruption probe at the request of a Flint council woman.

Rich Baird, who is Snyder's special adviser, said he inquired about Rizzo Environmental Services at the request of Flint City Councilwoman Kate Fields months before a bribery and corruption investigation involving the company became public.

Baird responded to Fields' request by forwarding her an email written by his chief of staff, Kevin Weise, after Baird asked him to research the company.


"I can't find any real shenanigans about Rizzo," read Weise's email that Baird forwarded to Fields on June 30. "They go after business in an aggressive fashion though."

The documents were obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Rizzo is at the center of a corruption and bribery investigation that has led to federal charges in October against two Macomb County officials. Company head Chuck Rizzo Jr. has resigned amidst the inquiry.


Baird said he also spoke with a colleague affiliated with the city of Detroit because Rizzo provides services there.

His colleague's opinion of Rizzo's work in Detroit "was very high," Baird said.

Baird said he also had Weise do research on Rizzo for Fields, which resulted in the June 30 email Baird forwarded to Fields.

"The statement that Kevin made to me was not wrong at the time because nothing was public at the time," Baird said in reference to Weise's email about not finding any "shenanigans about Rizzo."

The email also included copies of media reports about Rizzo's business history and various dealings in the Detroit area.

"Rizzo seems to be a complex set of companies at this point," Weise's email states. "It appears that they have a market efficiency by not owning a landfill."

Four months later Rizzo was embroiled in the federal corruption and bribery scandal.

"I was just trying to find out what I could about the company," Baird said. "I did not want to get between the mayor and the city council. That was not my role. That's what I was trying to explain to people – was the elected officials needed to resolve this issue."

Fields said she initially reached out to Baird because she was familiar with his work on other projects in the city such as the Flint water crisis.

"I had sufficient information to believe the bid was corrupted and therefore they shouldn't even be considered," Fields said. "We don't want corrupt companies getting a foothold in Flint. We already have enough problems.

"I thought this was something the state needed to be aware of. Rich Baird was very slow to realize that there were things that were going on that just weren't kosher with this Rizzo company. It was very frustrating."

The garbage controversy in Flint started in June when the city council voted against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's decision to go with Rizzo, causing a months-long battle over the trash issue with eight council members against hiring Rizzo.

Council members have argued that the bidding process was flawed, and they questioned Rizzo's integrity after inquiring about potential ties to Canada and to former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley. They have also said Rizzo's bid didn't offer the same amenities as Republic's, including a blight plan.

Councilman Eric Mays was the sole council member supporting hiring Rizzo to haul the city's trash.

City Councilman Scott Kincaid filed suit against Weaver and her office over the trash dispute.

A judge has attempted to solve the issue by having the council and Weaver's office to work toward a compromise while continuing to use Republic to haul Flint's trash.

Rizzo was looking to gain a $17.5-million contract with Flint spanning a 5-year period.

The council and administration recently settled the dispute on the heels of the federal investigation, offering a one-year contract to Rizzo's competitor, Republic Services, with an option to extend the contract another year.
Post Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:37 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The two instances of bribery cited were more like extortion instead of outright bribery. In the first even the FBI noted how Reynolds was demanding money because of his financial situation and his impending divorce. In the second, Rizzo was obviously receptive to an offer of business espionage and he fell eagerly into the situation. We don't know how heavily the FBI was involved in this situation. Obviously Chuck Rizzo had some ethical lapses. I feel sad about this situation as after reviewing the Board of Directors for the originally family owned business, I was very impressed at the education levels, awards and social consciousness of their enterprise. I would be very disappointed if the corruption went to the top.

Both Flint and Genesee County need ethics policies and a proper ethical review committee. Perhaps we can talk the FBI into having a corruption task force here in our county!
Post Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:49 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Governor's adviser looked into trash company at Flint official's request


Print Email Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.com By Dominic Adams | dadams5@mlive.cFollow on Twitter
on November 02, 2016 at 7:00 AM, updated November 02, 2016 at 7:05 AM
FLINT, MI – A special adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder was asked to look into the history of a trash hauler now involved in a federal corruption probe at the request of a Flint council woman.

Rich Baird, who is Snyder's special adviser, said he inquired about Rizzo Environmental Services at the request of Flint City Councilwoman Kate Fields months before a bribery and corruption investigation involving the company became public.

Baird responded to Fields' request by forwarding her an email written by his chief of staff, Kevin Weise, after Baird asked him to research the company.

"I can't find any real shenanigans about Rizzo," read Weise's email that Baird forwarded to Fields on June 30. "They go after business in an aggressive fashion though."

The documents were obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Rizzo is at the center of a corruption and bribery investigation that has led to federal charges in October against two Macomb County officials. Company head Chuck Rizzo Jr. has resigned amidst the inquiry.

Baird said he also spoke with a colleague affiliated with the city of Detroit because Rizzo provides services there.

His colleague's opinion of Rizzo's work in Detroit "was very high," Baird said.

Baird said he also had Weise do research on Rizzo for Fields, which resulted in the June 30 email Baird forwarded to Fields.

"The statement that Kevin made to me was not wrong at the time because nothing was public at the time," Baird said in reference to Weise's email about not finding any "shenanigans about Rizzo."

The email also included copies of media reports about Rizzo's business history and various dealings in the Detroit area.

"Rizzo seems to be a complex set of companies at this point," Weise's email states. "It appears that they have a market efficiency by not owning a landfill."

Four months later Rizzo was embroiled in the federal corruption and bribery scandal.

"I was just trying to find out what I could about the company," Baird said. "I did not want to get between the mayor and the city council. That was not my role. That's what I was trying to explain to people – was the elected officials needed to resolve this issue."

Fields said she initially reached out to Baird because she was familiar with his work on other projects in the city such as the Flint water crisis.

"I had sufficient information to believe the bid was corrupted and therefore they shouldn't even be considered," Fields said. "We don't want corrupt companies getting a foothold in Flint. We already have enough problems.

"I thought this was something the state needed to be aware of. Rich Baird was very slow to realize that there were things that were going on that just weren't kosher with this Rizzo company. It was very frustrating."

The garbage controversy in Flint started in June when the city council voted against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's decision to go with Rizzo, causing a months-long battle over the trash issue with eight council members against hiring Rizzo.

Council members have argued that the bidding process was flawed, and they questioned Rizzo's integrity after inquiring about potential ties to Canada and to former Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley. They have also said Rizzo's bid didn't offer the same amenities as Republic's, including a blight plan.

Councilman Eric Mays was the sole council member supporting hiring Rizzo to haul the city's trash.

City Councilman Scott Kincaid filed suit against Weaver and her office over the trash dispute.

A judge has attempted to solve the issue by having the council and Weaver's office to work toward a compromise while continuing to use Republic to haul Flint's trash.

Rizzo was looking to gain a $17.5-million contract with Flint spanning a 5-year period.

The council and administration recently settled the dispute on the heels of the federal investigation, offering a one-year contract to Rizzo's competitor, Republic Services, with an option to extend the contract another year.
Post Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:01 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Weaver says she 'didn't know' ex-Flint mayor part of trash talks despite emails

Print Email Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on November 02, 2016 at 3:18 PM, updated November 02, 2016 at 3:21 PM

FLINT, MI -- Mayor Karen Weaver said she didn't know former Mayor Woodrow Stanley was working as a consultant for Rizzo Environmental Services before she recommended the city council vote to give the company a multi-million-dollar garbage contract here.

But documents obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show her top aides received at least two emails from Stanley on the subject of garbage before the council's vote and show the ex-mayor and state legislator was invited to conference calls and strategy meetings with city and Rizzo officials in the following weeks.

Rizzo is the company at the center of a corruption and bribery investigation by the FBI, accused of having paid cash bribes to at least two Macomb County officials in exchange for help in gaining waste-hauling contracts there.


Weaver has said she was not offered bribes from the company. She withdrew her strong support for a five-year, $17.5-million contract for Rizzo after the FBI probe became public.

Flint's Receivership Transition Advisory Board on Oct. 26 approved a one-year contract with Republic Services to haul Flint's trash, but before that deal was struck, emails show Stanley's involvement in discussions promoting Rizzo inside city hall.

A months-long dispute over the contract began after the council voted 5-3 on June 27 against Weaver's recommendation for Rizzo.

However, City records show Stanley forwarded information by email to Steve Branch, Weaver's chief of staff, regarding the garbage contract days before the city council rejected the proposal.


The June 22 email makes reference to a letter written by another Rizzo consultant "in case it is necessary" and appears to have been sent to top officials at Rizzo as well as Stanley. However, the attached letter was apparently not forwarded to Branch.

Kristin Moore, Weaver's director of communications, told The Journal on June 29, two days after the council's vote, that the mayor was "not aware of any consulting agreement between Mr. Stanley and Rizzo Services" after questions about his involvement were raised by city council members.

Rizzo officials confirmed the same day that the ex-mayor was working for the company as a consultant.

Moore said Tuesday, Nov. 1, that Weaver has restated she was not aware of any arrangement between Stanley and Rizzo.


The state-appointed board overseeing the city's finances has taken the final step to end an ongoing trash dispute in Flint.

Stanley said in an email to The Journal, "My interest all along was to assist in making sure the residents of Flint received the best value with trash collection. Rizzo offered a significant savings ($2 million). That's the bottom line."

However, Stanley did not comment on a garbage-related email sent the day after the council's vote to officials at Rizzo and Weaver's top advisors -- City Administrator Sylvester Jones, Branch, volunteer Aonie Gilcreast and Moore.

The email was from James Stapleton, the president and founder of B&R Consulting of Ann Arbor, and included "talking points" in an attachment marked "Woodrow outline" and details arguments to move ahead with a contract with Rizzo.

Joe Munem, a spokesman for GFL Environmental USA Inc., confirmed Stapleton was a Rizzo consultant and that the company had an ongoing relationship with him.

Stapleton, a trustee at Eastern Michigan University and former Detroit Tigers executive, would not comment on his role in pushing to secure a waste contract in Flint for Rizzo, but emails show he was active in discussions with representatives of both the company and the city.

Records released to MLive-The Flint Journal also showed the city administrator received an email from Stanley on March 31 -- nearly three months before the council's vote -- titled "proposed scoring system for Flint bid."

Weaver's office recommended awarding a $17-milliion contract to Rizzo Environmental Services to collect the city's trash including if the company is affiliated with former Flint Mayor and State Rep. Woodrow Stanley.

The message in the email makes reference to a "sanitation bid scoring chart," which was included as an attached document. The document showed how many points could be awarded to bidders based on the price of their proposal, qualifications, past involvement with similar projects and the age of the company's fleet.

Moore said in an email to The Journal the city has no record that Jones ever responded to the email.

The city's spokeswoman added that being sent a communication doesn't equate to acceptance of the content.

"Again, just because someone sent me something doesn't mean anything ... As members of city staff we get all types of emails from all types of people. We cannot control who emails us and what those emails may contain. Information that seems relevant is passed on, information that does not is disregarded," Moore said.

Flint Councilman Scott Kincaid said Stanley's work for Rizzo was no secret inside city hall.

Stanley met with him in the first quarter of 2016 about the city's garbage contract and whether he would support putting the job back out for bid because a previous deal with Republic allowed for it, Kincaid said.

The councilman said he and other council members continued to hear from Stanley as he advocated for a new deal on trash pickup and doesn't understand how Weaver could not have been aware of Stanley's connection to Rizzo.

"Too many people knew" for Weaver not to know, he said. "They all knew."
Post Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Clinton Twp. trustee due in court over alleged bribes
Jennifer Chambers, The Detroit News 9 a.m. EDT November 3, 2016


Detroit — A Clinton Township trustee is expected in federal court on Thursday on charges he demanded and took bribes in exchange for his vote on municipal contracts since 2012.

Federal prosecutors allege Dean Reynolds, 49, accepted $50,000-$70,000 from a company that secured a “significant” contract with Clinton Township.

Federal officials have not identified the company, but officials with Rizzo Environmental Services have confirmed they are cooperating in the investigation.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, Reynolds accepted $17,000 from an undercover agent, which was recorded on video.

The FBI says it wiretapped a phone conversation in July 2015 during which Reynolds allegedly refers to the businessman and bribes he is receiving in exchange for supporting an $18 million contract.

Reynolds’ arrest on Oct. 13 as well as the Oct. 25 arrest of a second Macomb County elected official, Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitas, on bribery charges in connection with Rizzo are all part of the FBI’s sweeping public corruption investigation into officials in Macomb County.

Freitas, 43, was arrested by FBI agents on a criminal complaint charging him with demanding and taking bribes in exchange for official help on the municipal contract.

Prosecutors allege Freitas engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity, including demanding and accepting money in exchange for official acts as a trustee. The vendor was not identified in court records, but township documents on the hiring of Rizzo last year match up with details in the criminal complaint.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the two arrests and corruption charges stem from an investigation into systemic corruption in several municipalities in southeast Michigan, mostly in Macomb County.

Investigators used telephone wiretaps, audio and video recordings by “cooperative individuals,” undercover operations and subpoenas of financial records and other documents in their probe.

Reynolds, a Democrat, is serving his third term on the township Board of Trustees since 2004. His term ends this year and he’s running for township supervisor against Robert Cannon, the Republican incumbent, in Tuesday’s election.

Cannon said the community only has one contract anywhere near $18 million. The contract is for trash hauling with Rizzo Environmental Services in Sterling Heights.

FBI agents showed up at the Township Hall at on Oct. 13 looking for Reynolds. He was not there. His attorney, Stephen T. Rabaut of Clinton Township, did not return a call seeking comment.

Cannon said if Reynolds wins the election and is convicted of the bribery charges, he will be “removed from office immediately.”

A trustee will then be required to nominate a new supervisor who will need at least four votes from the board to be appointed. That person would serve until the 2018 gubernatorial election. If the board is unable to select a new supervisor, there will be a special election, Cannon said.

If convicted, Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Freitas, whose term on the township board ends Nov. 20, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is due back in court on Nov. 15.

The day Freitas was arrested, the founder of Rizzo Environmental Services resigned from the company.

Chuck Rizzo Jr. stepped down from his namesake company, which is at the center of a long-running investigation into systemic corruption in southeast Michigan and primarily in Macomb County.

The resignation was announced not by Rizzo but by his company’s new owner, GFL Environmental Inc., after its president and CEO, Patrick Dovigi, learned of the second arrest of an official charged with federal bribery for his alleged role in getting a Rizzo contract approved.

Toronto-based GFL acquired Rizzo Oct. 1.

jchambers@detroitnews.com
Post Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:28 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

STERLING HEIGHTS
Campaign cash concerns raised in waste contract debate
By Eric Czarnik



As the Sterling Heights City Council continues to steer its way through negotiating a new waste hauling contract, the issue of political campaign contributions has arisen again.

The issue came up during a March 1 meeting, when a 4-3 council majority decided to pursue a request for proposals process toward a new contract, which could last five to eight years.

The “yes” votes were Mayor Michael Taylor, Councilwoman Deanna Koski, and Councilmen Doug Skrzyniarz and Nate Shannon. The “no” votes were Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Romano, and Councilwomen Maria Schmidt and Barbara Ziarko.

In February, they had voted 4-3 along the same lines to reject earlier bids from three waste hauling companies: Waste Management, Rizzo Environmental Services and Emterra Environmental USA.

In those bids, Waste Management had the most affordable price for a basic service plan that could’ve saved money. Rizzo had the lowest bid on a plan that included mandatory trash carts and universal curbside recycling, but city officials concluded that that plan would’ve raised net costs.

At the time, Taylor explained his support for rebidding by saying that he wanted an option that would allow residents affordable options — but not requirements — on obtaining trash carts or participating in curbside recycling.

When the waste contract issue came back to the council March 1, David Domzal, an attorney at Williams Acosta in Detroit, spoke about it during public comment.

Domzal said he was representing Waste Management and recommended that the city allow a full independent investigation over the city’s campaign finance and ethics policies before it launches into a full RFP process.

“This is not something to be taken lightly,” he said. “We believe that there needs to be an independent investigation regarding the role of campaign contributions, particularly in solid waste contracts. Waste Management is certainly part of that. It’s a matter of public record as far as donations that have been made.”

Domzal said an investigation should cover where the campaign funds came from and what funds came from political action committees, as well as how the money was used.

“I see the gray money; I see soft money on the federal level,” he said. “I fear some of this soft money is starting to work its way into local politics, and I’m concerned.”

He added that the city should ensure that the process is transparent, adding that the waste hauling contract is the city’s largest private contract.

Another public speaker said he checked out the campaign donations himself after Romano had raised the subject at an earlier meeting.

“I looked into it, because it’s public information, campaign donations,” he said. “I am amazed at how much one of the bidders has contributed in here. A lot of money came into here from one of the bidders. … Let’s get all that out of the way. Let’s see how much of that campaign donation we can give back so it doesn’t suggest impropriety in decisions.”

According to the Michigan Secretary of State’s online database of campaign finance statements, Rizzo Environmental Services PAC directly donated at least $750 — not counting in-kind contributions — to each member of the current City Council in 2015 when they all ran as candidates. Another PAC, the Waste Management Employees Better Government Fund of Michigan, also reportedly donated $750 to each council member in 2015.

In addition, the Rizzo PAC is also listed as donating thousands of dollars in 2015 to a PAC called the Mitten Leadership Fund. That fund gave at least $5,000 to each Sterling Heights council member during the last election cycle, and it reportedly gave even more to Shannon, Skrzyniarz and Taylor.

Wade Stevenson, CFO of Rizzo, is listed separately as reportedly contributing $2,000 to the MLF in August.

Campaign finance documentation on the state’s website from Waste Management’s PAC lists a $5,000 expenditure to the MLF on March 4, and $5,000 was reportedly returned under MLF’s name on March 31 under “voided check.” State records also say that Waste Management’s PAC reportedly gave $5,000 again to the MLF on April 22. However, the MLF’s list of received contributions on the state’s website did not list that donation.

According to an email from Michigan Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams, “the PAC will be sent an error or omission notice to clarify whether the contributions from Waste Management Employees Better Government Fund of Michigan should have been disclosed and to correct the matter if necessary.”

The City Council did not agree to an investigation of campaign finances, as Domzal requested, at the March 1 meeting. In response to Domzal’s comments, Skrzyniarz said that the good thing about campaign finance is that all of the information is public record and transparent. He invited the public to look for the campaign finance reports, including the PAC information, on the county’s elections website.

“I welcome you to do that. That’s what the campaign finance laws are there for: to make sure that we are completely transparent in terms of who funds our campaigns,” Skrzyniarz said.

After the meeting, Taylor also said campaign finance records are public, and he emphasized that such financing has nothing to do with how he votes on a topic.

“With regard to that garbage contract, I’m looking for the lowest price for the overall contract and the best recycling program, and whichever contractor provides that is going to get my vote, period,” he said.

In an email, Shannon said Waste Management was also a contributor to the Mitten fund and each of the individual campaigns.

“Because we are such a large city, it takes a great sum of money to contact voters and get our message out,” he said. “Regardless of campaign contributions, my decision making at the council table is with the intent to do what is best for the residents of Sterling Heights.”

The City Council expects to vote for a winning bidder based on the RFP process results April 5 — in time for the winning bidder to take over trash services May 1.

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

1420

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C & G Newspapers since 2007.
Full bio and more articles by this reporter
Post Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:50 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Macomb Township could end Rizzo trash-hauling contract
Christina Hall and Tresa Baldas , Detroit Free Press 1:48 p.m. EDT November 3, 2016

A week after Macomb Township residents demanded answers after a trustee was charged with bribery in connection to the township’s trash-hauling contract, Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said today that she will ask for a review of the agreement and will encourage her colleagues to consider all options, including termination of the contract.

Dunn plans to make a motion at the board’s Nov. 9 meeting, the day after Election Day.

Dunn and other trustees drew heat and requests to resign from residents at a meeting Oct. 26, the day after Republican Trustee Clifford Freitas was charged in federal court with bribery for help in getting a trash-hauling contract for the township with — sources said — Rizzo Environmental Services.

Dunn told the Free Press in an interview today that she is making her announcement "to put people's minds at ease that we're not just disregarding the events that led up to this." She said she wants to make sure "everything is unquestionable about this contract."

Dunn said township attorneys have done research and there are a couple of different clauses in the contract that may allow the township to terminate, renegotiate or rebid it. If the contract needs to be renegotiated or rebid, Dunn said, "we'll do it."

Freitas, who worked for Rizzo, and Dean Reynolds, a Clinton Township trustee running for supervisor in his community, were charged in what federal authorities have said is a widespread pay-to-play public corruption probe in Macomb County. Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Reynolds, a Democrat, was indicted by a grand jury on eight counts of bribery.

The news has caused quite a stir, especially in Macomb Township, Dunn said.

“Rather than to emotionally jump to any conclusions, I had my office staff and legal counsel gather the charging documents regarding Mr. Freitas along with press releases issued by Rizzo Environmental Services,” Dunn said in a statement. “A thorough review of that documentation makes it clear that a representative of Rizzo has accepted responsibility for the unethical and allegedly illegal attempt to manipulate the Township's RFP process through Mr. Freitas. Since Mr. Freitas had been previously told that he could not be involved in the process and had agreed to those terms I had no previous notice and/or knowledge of this activity. It should be noted that Mr. Freitas did not vote on the final contract.”

Dunn again said she is “extremely shocked and terribly saddened” by the bribery accusations. She said her office previously publicly condemned any actions by township officials or employees that violate public trust.

“Similarly, this office now further condemns the admitted activity by a Rizzo employee as totally unacceptable and intolerable,” she said in the statement.

The same day Freitas was charged, high-profile garbage executive Chuck Rizzo Jr. resigned from his family namesake’s trash-hauling business.

In the federal cases against Freitas and Reynolds, FBI investigators bugged the phones of the politicians and the alleged bribe giver to uncover the scheme.

Freitas is accused of taking a $7,500 cash bribe from Rizzo for providing the company with “sensitive bidding information” to help Rizzo win a contract in the township in 2015. The charging document did not name Rizzo, and the company has not been charged with any crime.


Freitas also accepted a $35,000 bribe from Rizzo to make sure Macomb Township residents would be billed for garbage services on their water bills so that Rizzo would save money.

Township Treasurer Karen Goodhue said at last week’s meeting that no trash hauling charges have been added to any water bills.


Freitas, who did not attend last week's meeting, lost in the primary and will not be on the ballot Tuesday. Dunn is facing a write-in campaign from former supervisor Mark Grabow.

Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of Canadian-based GFL Environmental Inc., which bought Rizzo just weeks before the corruption probe surfaced, is overseeing Rizzo’s business on an interim basis. He has said the name Rizzo will be switched to GFL – which stands for Green For Life – and Rizzo’s red trucks will be repainted, a makeover that has already started. He also has said his company will continue to service residents.

In her statement, Dunn said: "Trash hauling is a public health issue and it is understood that such services must continue during any review process. This office is prepared to meet any contingency in this regard."

Dunn said officials are happy with Rizzo's service, "but not happy with the way it occurred." She said she doesn't want to terminate the contract and go through the bidding process again, "but if we have to, we will."

When asked if the township could take legal again, Dunn said that no one has talked about taking any action against anyone.

"I'm not saying it won't, but that has yet to be determined," she said.

Dunn said that she has not talked with anyone from GFL, though others representing the township have. She said she believes it would be a "good idea" if the company came to the board, adding "this is a big community. I don't think they want to lose us."

After news of the probe broke, communities were thinking twice about using Rizzo, which had grown in recent years, for waste hauling.

Dovigi told the Free Press today that he has talked with the Macomb Township attorney and that the company is setting up appointments with every community it serves. He said GFL has talked with about two-thirds of the communities with about one-third to go in the next two weeks. He said he personally is meeting with communities, and the company is attending government meetings as requested by the communities.

Dovigi said some of the communities are very happy and their situation remains status quo; others are asking for the company to give a presentation. He said the company's focus is getting out what it stands for and giving communities comfort.

Dovigi previously said that had his company known about the federal probe, it likely would not have purchased Rizzo.

While he said the news is "no good for anyone," Dovigi said GFL is not hiding and will "continue to serve the communities we are servicing."

Freitas’ criminal charges came just days after another trustee, Dino Bucci, was accused of extortion and asking for a kickback in an unrelated civil lawsuit filed in Macomb County Circuit.

Bucci and the township were sued, accused of not returning more than $151,000 in construction and water and sewer permit fees to a company for a development the company did not build.

Bucci is accused in the lawsuit of agreeing to return the money if the company kicked back about $76,000 to him. That lawsuit was sent to the township’s insurance company like all civil lawsuits, township officials said. Bucci made no comments at last week's board meeting.

Contact Christina Hall: chall99@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:02 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Part 2 : Macomb ' systemic corruption ' : Sterling Heights PAC ...
www.macombforum.com/showthread.php?tid=26
Oct 28, 2016 - The MITTEN Leadership Fund was established in 2015. http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/..._id=517221. Between August 18, 2015 and


Macomb Forum

Part 2 : Macomb ' systemic corruption ' : Sterling Heights PAC recipients et.al
Karen Spranger Offline
Junior Member

#1 10-29-2016, 12:47 AM (This post was last modified: 10-29-2016, 12:50 AM by Karen Spranger.)
Part 2 : Macomb ' systemic corruption ' : Sterling Heights PAC recipients et.al


In a series of twists and turns related to the ongoing investigations, the next set of publicly available facts involve a dissertation of political action committee (PACs) campaign funds directed to the current Sterling Height City Council members.

The Rizzo Environmental Services PAC recipients are located in Part 1
http://www.macombforum.com/showthread.php?tid=24
That committee was formed June 6, 2013.
http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/..._id=516398


The Waste Management PAC has been around since 1994.
The 2013 forward receipients are the focus .
http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/..._id=502752
As the WMI donations tapered off, the Rizzo contributions picked up

Read this:
http://www.candgnews.com/news/sterling-reacts-rizzo-acquisition-fbi-news-96918

Lo and behold.......

The MITTEN Leadership Fund was established in 2015.
http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/..._id=517221

Between August 18, 2015 and October 15, 2015, this PAC alone distributed $57,500 to the current Sterling Heights City Council. The people that live at the listed PAC address are both attorneys and one works in the Macomb County Prosecutors Office.


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Post Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:10 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Rizzo Environmental donated $7,000 in 2015 to The Mitten Leadership PAC and Wade Stevenson of Rizzo Environmental donated an additional $2,000.
Post Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:23 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

3rd politician charged in Macomb County corruption probe
Tresa Baldas and Christina Hall , Detroit Free Press 12:30 p.m. EST November 17, 2016

A third Macomb County politician has been charged in a public corruption case that surfaced six weeks ago, when the FBI disclosed it was investigating numerous public officials for crimes that included taking bribes from garbage hauler Rizzo Environmental Services.

And like the other two officials arrested in the same sweeping probe, this official was charged with helping a company win a trash contract – and text messages and wiretapped phone conversations helped prove it, the FBI says in a criminal complaint unsealed today.

Charged is Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock, who was arrested and taken into custody this morning for allegedly taking at least $30,000 in cash bribes from a businessman in exchange for voting on a trash contract and promising not to bad mouth the trash hauler to other communities. On one occasion, the complaint states, Lovelock texted the businessman using code language, saying he was "hungry" for bribes.

"I hope for lots of carrots maybe 60 bundles just kidding rabbits hungry," read one of Lovelock's 2015 text messages, which is on file in federal court.

According to the FBI, Lovelock sent that text message just before meeting a businessman in a Troy parking lot, where the unnamed businessman gave him $2,500 for help in getting his company paid for cleanup work following the devastating flood of 2014. According to the complaint, the company was owed $25,000 for storm cleanup, but Lovelock wanted a 10% cut of it for help in getting him paid.

According to the criminal complaint, the unnamed businessman is a key informant in the case. Unbeknownst to the businessman, the FBI had bugged his phone and confronted him with various evidence in the case, the complaint states. When confronted by the FBI, the unnamed businessman admitted responsibility and agreed to cooperate, triggering eventual charges against Lovelock.

Here's how the bribes allegedly started:

In 2010, the businessman's company had past due accounts in Chesterfield Township, and he wanted to put those accounts on the township's tax roll. This would "expedite and help secure payment" to the company. Lovelock offered to help, but only if the businesman provided him financial help with his campaign, the complaint states.

"Lovelock wanted cash" from the businessman, a federal agent wrote in an affidavit on file in U.S. District Court.

Initially, the busissman started giving Lovelock $500 in cash, but then Lovelock wanted more, so the businessman gave Locklock two payments of $1,500 each in exchange for getting his past due accounts on the tax roll.

By late 2012 or early 2013, Lovelock "started demanding more cash" from the businessman and threatened that he would not give his company a good reference with other municipalities and would "talk negatively about" his company to other communities. In response to the threats, the businessman continued to make payments to Lovelock.

Lovelock's arrest comes two weeks after Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds was indicted on charges that he accepted bribes from trash hauler Rizzo Environmental Services for helping Rizzo secure an $18-million contract extension. He also is charged with taking bribes from a second unnamed business that the FBI has long had its eye on.

The name of that business has not been made public. But that company, along with several others, can expect to land in court, says the FBI.

"Reynolds unwittingly led the investigation to other criminal associates who are expected to be prosecuted in the near future," the FBI has stated in court records, noting that one of the companies that bribed Reynolds "has been the subject of FBI investigations in previous years, based on numerous bribery allegations."

While Rizzo Environmental Services has not been named in any court documents, multiple sources familiar with the case have told the Free Press that a Rizzo employee became one of the government's key informants in the probe after getting caught on a wiretap paying bribes to Reynolds and at least one other municipal official.

The FBI's investigation, which was disclosed five weeks ago, has so far named two Macomb County politicians who allegedly took bribes from Rizzo Services: Reynolds and Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas. Freitas also worked for Rizzo while the company was trying to secure a garbage contract last year.

FBI investigators bugged the phones of the politicians and the bribe giver to uncover the alleged scheme, according to court documents.

Freitas, 43, was charged with bribery on Oct. 25 for pocketing $7,500 in cash from Rizzo Environmental Services for helping the trash hauler win a contract in July 2015. On the same day that Freitas was charged, Rizzo's president and CEO, Chuck Rizzo Jr., resigned.

According to a criminal complaint, Freitas gave insider bidding tips to Rizzo Environmental Services to help the company win the deal — which they did — and also accepted a $35,000 bribe from Rizzo to make sure the bill was added onto the water bill so that Rizzo would save money.

Rizzo Environmental Services has previously stated that it is assisting the federal government in what the FBI has described as a widespread investigation into pay-to-play schemes across Macomb County.

Rizzo is now owned by Toronto-based GFL Environmental, which purchased Rizzo two weeks before the corruption scandal surfaced in federal court. GFL has expressed frustration and outrage by the investigation, saying it had no idea that Rizzo was part of an FBI corruption investigation when it purchased the company.

Meanwhile, GFL is in the process of re-branding all of Rizzo's signature red trucks and painting them bright green with the GFL logo.

Contact Tresa Baldas: tbaldas@freepress.com
Post Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:48 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

We should have kept it in house

Posted initially by Schwartz Law Firm - family law
Free Initial Consultation
248-579-4631


Settlement to Cost Warren Taxpayers $6 Million 7/3/09
Insurance won't pay for money owed to trash hauler

The Macomb Daily
Friday, July 3, 2009

By Mitch Hotts and Norb Franz, Macomb Daily Staff Writers

A lawsuit settlement between the city of Warren and a trash-hauling firm will not be covered by insurance, costing taxpayers in Macomb County's largest community millions of dollars.

The City Council on Thursday at a special meeting that was not televised on the community's cable television station approved the agreement that ends years of litigation between Warren and Rizzo Services.

The council voted 8-1 to approve a global $5.9 million settlement with Rizzo Services with the money coming from the insurance reserves fund.

"I voted in favor of this because I wanted to limit further financial risk to our taxpayers," said Council President Mary Kamp.

Council members were restricted in what they can publicly discuss about the settlement's details due to a disclosure provision included in the agreement.

But council members did say they were surprised to learn of the agreement because for some

time they were under the impression the case was moving in the city's favor.

"This (proposal) came as a complete shock," Kamp said. "We thought, based on the updates we were receiving from the attorneys in the past that we'd be able to come to some other type of agreement."

Councilman Scott Stevens agreed.

Stevens, who voted against the motion, said the settlement amount "made me sick," adding he would have preferred to study the issue longer but the council has a July 14 deadline to approve the measure.

"I ran for office on honesty and transparency but I don't like the way this went down at the last minute," Stevens said. "But at least with this settlement, we received a discount on the amount."

Rizzo Services held a seven-year, $11.7 million contract to operate Warren's trash transfer station and haul the rubbish to a landfill. The contract came under the tenure of former Mayor Mark Steenbergh in 2001.

That pact expired last fall, and the city bought new, larger garbage trucks to directly haul trash to a landfill without a middle man.

In August 2005, the company under its formal name C&R Maintenance, filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the city in Macomb County Circuit Court. In March 2007, the company agreed to drop its court fight without a settlement between the two sides.

The Warren-based firm had sought an extension of its contract and offered to lower its prices in exchange for a contract extension. Circuit Judge Mark Switalski then dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning the company could head back to court on the matter.

Rizzo did so in October 2007, suing the city in U.S. District Court. Also named as defendants were city Controller Richard Fox and Robert Slavko, the city's former public service director.

Warren officials have claimed the city made required repairs at the trash dumping-and-compacting facility on Flanders Avenue enabling the company to accept private, outside construction debris and other materials that are not part of regular trash pickup at homes and businesses in the city. The city claimed it was owed $840,000 in royalty payments.

Rizzo Services, however, countered it should not have to pay any royalties because two new compactors and an additional "direct dump" system were installed late. The company alleged that tardiness prevented it from privately accepting even more outside solid waste, costing it more than a combined $4 million in higher landfill and trucking expenses.

To chip away at the $840,000, Warren officials began withholding a portion of the payments the city makes to the trash hauler for garbage hauling. Warren continued to withhold $28,000 a month.

According to an independent audit of city finances, a $1 million credit line by a bank to Rizzo Services as a requirement of the contract had expired. Had it remained in effect, the city as a third-party beneficiary could have drawn from it to recoup money if administrators felt Rizzo Services shortchanged Warren.
Post Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:07 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Report highlights donations to trash hauler in Flint garbage controversy


Print Email Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com

on December 01, 2016 at 5:33 PM
Stay connected to MLive.com ×
DETROIT, MI -- Two political action committees linked to the trash company at the center of a federal investigation that once sought to haul Flint's garbage gave more than $174,000 to political campaigns in Metro Detroit, according to a Detroit News article.

According to the Nov. 30 Detroit News article, the money was given to political campaigns in municipalities where Rizzo Environmental Services was awarded millions of dollars in contracts.

The use of political committees also came into play when a series of political ads targeted Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid and urged the community to disregard Kincaid's opposition to hiring Rizzo to haul Flint's trash under a $17.5-million contract spanning over five years.

At that time, Rizzo spokesperson Joseph Munem said the company had nothing to do with the robocalls and ads that were paid for by Citizens for Accountable Government, which were aired during the Olympic Games.

The ad gave out Kincaid's phone number and urged people to call the councilman to tell him to "leave his political games at the curb."

According to the Detroit News article, the company used the PAC to give directly to political candidates in 23 Metro Detroit communities. It claims the contributions targeted races in municipalities that hired Rizzo to haul trash in recent years.

Campaign documents also show that Rizzo's political action committee contributed directly to both Weaver and former Mayor Dayne Walling.

"My campaign committee received hundreds of contributions and I didn't have any contact with the Rizzo company," said former mayor Dayne Walling, who received $1,000 in campaign contributions from the Rizzo PAC. "But I am aware that a contribution was made. I think it's appropriate for an investigation into the company's practices to look at all aspects of their dealings with candidates and public officials, and it's also important to recognize that the candidates and committees do receive continuously from all kinds of individuals who want to participate in the political process but aren't seeking anything for themselves."

Weaver, who received a $500 contribution from the Rizzo PAC, could not be reached by the Flint Journal for comment.

According to campaign documents filed by both Weaver and Walling they both received contributions from the Rizzo Environmental Services PAC of Sterling Heights in October 2015.
Post Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:43 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

They need to check out the Mitten PAC- both Rizzo and Republic ran funds through this PAC.
Post Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:45 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Evidence lacking, lawyer says in Lovelock bribery case
Nicquel Terry, The Detroit News 3:34 p.m. EST December 8, 2016
636149915113345616-2016-1117-dg-corruption0063
Detroit — An attorney for the embattled former Chesterfield Township supervisor said the federal government has not presented enough evidence to support the bribery and corruption charges brought against his client last month.

Jerome Sabbota said Thursday he wanted to remind the public that Michael Lovelock is still innocent until the accusations are proven in court.

“I haven’t seen the merit behind those allegations,” the Royal Oak attorney said after a hearing for Lovelock was held in federal court. “You have an investigation that we haven’t been privy to.”

Lovelock appeared in court, where he was arraigned on an indictment.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Lovelock was indicted on four counts of conspiracy and demanding bribes in exchange for corruptly influencing his decisions as a supervisor.

Authorities say that between 2010-16, Lovelock accepted a total of $30,000 from a company with a “significant contract” with the township. He was arrested and arraigned Nov. 17.

Lovelock was one of three local officials charged with taking bribes from the company, that has been identified as Rizzo Environmental Services.

Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds is charged with taking $50,000 to $70,000 in cash bribes from Rizzo in exchange for supporting the firm’s $3.5 million annual contract bid.

Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas is accused of taking $7,500 from Rizzo. An indictment for Freitas has been delayed because he is negotiating a plea deal.

Rizzo’s founder, Chuck Rizzo Jr., resigned from the company in October amid the scandal.

Lovelock, who had been supervisor since 2008, was unseated in November when he lost re-election to Daniel J. Acciavatti.

Sabbota said it’s possible authorities made a mistake in arresting Lovelock.

“This is just an allegation,” he said.

Sabbota compared it to the wrongful charge of DeAngelo Davis in the killing of Wayne State University Officer Collin Rose. The charges against Davis were dismissed and he was released from jail Wednesday.

Kelli C. Hodges, special agent for the FBI, said in a court affidavit Lovelock had been accepting bribes from a principal of “Company A.”

The FBI wiretapped that person’s phone and he was ultimately confronted with the evidence. He confessed to the crime, agreed to cooperate with the investigation and is identified as Cooperating Human Source One in the affidavit.

In September 2015, FBI physical surveillance captured a meeting between Lovelock and the source in a parking lot in Troy.

During the meeting, the source handed Lovelock $2,500 in cash in exchange for getting “Company A” paid by Macomb County for flood cleanup work it did in Chesterfield, according to the affidavit.

Lovelock had previously sent a coded text message to the source requesting the money, according to the affidavit.

“I hope for lots of carrots maybe 60 bundles just kidding rabbits hungry,” the text said.

“Carrots” is code for money, according to the complaint.

nterry@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-6793
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:49 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

WHY KINCAID MISTRUSTS STANLEY

I remembered this story and i had to search until I found it on old files in the library While i know he story , was April 23, I don't have the year. It was in the early 1990's.

POLITICAL STINK STILL RISING OVER FLINT COMPOST CONTACT

Todd Seibt , Flint City hall reporter

Even when Flint had their own waste collection workers, there were disputes over landfills and compost. This and other stories about a Flint compost pile near Bray Road and carpenter Road were controversial to say the least.

Residents in then Councilman Johnnie Tucker's 3rd ward were vocal about the smell and wanted it gone. The Stanley administration came forward with a proposal to remove the compost using the Pollard land fill for just under $1 million. The council led by Kincaid demanded a bid process and the final bid was $34,000.
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:03 am 
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