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Topic: flint trash collection in limbo
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Pollard Landfill in Montrose Township, was then owned by City Management and Anthony Soave, who had alleged mob ties. The City management representative and company Vice president was former Flint Mayor James Sharp.

After being shot down over the nearly $1 million proposal that nearly snuck through, council was leary of Stanley's two proposals to give Pollard the $34,000 compost contact and a second contract for Pollard of $75,000 in future compost pickup.

The media did heavy coverage on the story. William Leoni Sr. of Citizen's Disposal in Mundy Townshipaccused the Stanley administration of "using hocus pocus and a confusing array of bid alternatives " to steer the contract to Pollard.
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:15 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

"This thing has been convoluted", stated leoni to council, and "it's been twisted around to give i to a particular bidder".

The story eventually became a "pay to play issue". City Management and their representative contributed heavily to Stanley while the Leoni's supported Collier in the Mayor's race won by Stanley.

Sharp complained how his reputation was being sullied by all of the accusations, while Leoni reminded council they nearly paid almost $1 million for a contract now down to $34,000. The Journal had filed a FOIA and got copies of the bids. Oddly, there is mention of an inadvertent placing of the Pollard proposal on the council agenda.

"according to the language in that proposal, the proposal became null and void as soon as it became public."


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:58 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:26 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Leoni asked council to toss out the bids and start over. Part of the issue revolved around vague language as to what kind of compost was to be returned to the City.

"Leoni argued that his bid was competitive, because he assumed the City wanted "nursery style" screened compost returned to the city . According to Leoni, the Pollard bid did not address that issue

Council was divided on he issue. Council President Scott Kincaid's arguments was that the bids were hardly competitive when the drive to Montrose by a 2 man city truck was 26 to 27 miles each way compared to the 6 to 8 miles to drive to Mundy Township. Kincaid requested a formal breakdown of costs to determine which was cost effective.
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:36 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Seibt quoted 3rd ward councilman Johnnie Tucker supporting the contract to Pollard and saying " The FBI and the CIA shouldn't be called in to comb over every single contract Stanley proposes".

Tucker argued "we can sit around here and B.S. around this, but the bottom line is this is a service to city residents." Tucker voiced concerns over the smell and the health issues of his ward.

Note: When the Sugar Law Guild and the EPA studied "toxic sites" in Flint, Tucker claimed he did not know how the CNN Railroad got approval to maintain large piles of coal. Residents that were interviewed showed the damage from the coal dust to their, homes, cars and health. The area around Foss Avenue Church was heavily affected.
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:48 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

James Makokha, Stanley's Direcor of Governmental Affairs, voiced agreement with Tucker and stated it "was unfair to suggest Stanley was attempting to steer any contract to anyone"

"I think it is pertinent for this body to ask for facts." Makokha went on to say "there is no proof the contracts are a political payoff or are being directed to anyone."

Note: Makokha was convicted in a federal case of bribery involving Harold Hampton,
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:57 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In another thread I discussed FBI documents File #194B-DE-72700 from 1994 as they related to the Makokha, Flint Director of Governmental Policy, trial and the waste hauling contracts.

There was a confusing segment about an alleged $30,000 bribe payment made on behalf of Mike Swartz, then owner of Nathan J's, a strip bar on Dort Highway. Confusing because Swartz did not deliver the " brown bag" and the money did not transfer to Makokha in this narration.

The Cooperating Witness (CW) alleges to be a go-between for vendors and Makokha.
Page 9
"CW stated that he/she was in Wilson's (Sheriff Joe Wilson) office 1n 1993 when Mike Swartz, owner of Nathan J's , called about being denied a topless dancing permit by the City of Flint."

The CW alleged Wilson, Mitru, and Waters were also in the office.
"CW advised that Mitru hung up the phone nd told him/her that Swartz needed some help with the city. According to Mtru, Swartz said he would pay $20,000 "to get this thing done"

The CW then said that Waters warned him to "not to do it" So CW stated he would try to sell Swartz a diamond like his as Miru said Swartz had expressed interest in one like the CW's.

During the media blitz of the Makokha federal trial,CW was alleged to be Harold Hampton. Previous stories focused on Hampton giving security systems free to certain politicians. There was also a scandal involving the sale of the security company building to the City of Flint for a North end Mini-station.
I spoke to two minority contractors who allegedly were told their roof replacement bids were too low and too increase them. They complained the contract went to a contractor who bid higher than them.

Hampton also had a pawn shop in the Lansing area and allegedly gave golf clubs and other gifts to Makokha. spoke to Hampton's ex-wife and she stated Harold's federal deal stuck her with a large IRS bill.


According to the CW, there was a meeting with Swartz. MItru, and Dan Hogan in Flint. While Swartz did not buy the diamond, he was allegedly still upset about not getting his permit and would now pay $30,000 to "get it done".

CW demanded the money from Swartz in 2 hours in a brown paper bag and delivered to his/her pond in Fenton. CW stated he/she was afraid of being set up by Swartz and he/she figured the FBI or another law enforcement agency couldn't establish surveillance in that short time.

This is where it confuses. Mitru went to his home with the CW and got $30,000 from a home safe in the basement. CW said there was a lot of cash in the safe and Mitru allegedly told him it was Wilson's. There is no discussion of the money going to any city official to make this happen.

The CW met with Makokha 2 days later at he White Horse and CW was said to have told Makokha that Swartz would pay $5,000 for the permit.

CW stated he told Makokha to go to Vegas and launder the money. While he/she believed Makokha was interested in the money, Makokha expressed a fear the CW was wearing a wir to set him up. According to Makokha, Swartz was going to get his license anyway because of a prior agreement with the federal government.

CW said he/she agreed to pick up a package from Swart's attorney to be delivered to Makokha. There were legal documents as well as a letter from United States Attorney Robert W. Havilnd.

Swartz eventually got his permit and Makokha never asked for the money. At Makokha's new house on Circle drive, Makokha stated Wilson knew CW took $30,000 from Swartz and not $5,000. CW did not believe Wilson knew Mitru got the money from Wilson.

How could he not know Mitru ran Wilson's golf outing and sold his Birthday Book ads? Did they suspect CW was working with the feds? No comment on the $30,000 CW must have kept.
NO HONOR AMONG THIEVES.
Post Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:40 am
Post Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:08 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Office of the United States Attorneys The United States Department of Justice
Eastern District of Michigan


U.S. Attorneys » Eastern District of Michigan » News
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Two New Haven Trustees Charged with Demanding and Taking Bribes

An elected Trustee of New Haven, Michigan was charged today in a criminal complaint with demanding and taking a bribe in exchange for his official acts in connection with a municipal contract, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced. In addition, a former Trustee of New Haven was charged in a criminal information with accepting multiple bribes.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios and Manny J. Muriel, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office.

Christopher Craigmiles, 43, of Lenox Township, is charged in a complaint with engaging in corrupt activity, including demanding and accepting money in exchange for official acts as a Trustee of New Haven. Craigmiles is a current, elected Trustee of the Village of New Haven. Brett Harris, 57, of New Haven, is charged in an information with accepting multiple bribes in exchange for a promise to support a future municipal contract for the village. Harris was an elected Trustee of New Haven until losing re-election in November 2016. The charges against Craigmiles and Harris are part of an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County. The investigation has employed telephone wiretaps, consensual audio and video recordings by cooperative individuals, undercover operations, physical surveillance, telephone tracking warrants, and subpoenas of financial records and other documents.

The criminal information against Harris charges that Harris conspired with Craigmiles and former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds to engage in bribery in the summer of 2016. Reynolds unwittingly introduced Harris to an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a consultant to a company that has contracts with various municipalities in southeast Michigan—referred to in the information as “Company A.” Reynolds told the undercover agent that Harris was a public official who would be willing to take bribes in exchange for his vote on a future contract with Company A. Previously, Reynolds had accepted $17,000 in cash bribes from the undercover agent and between $50,000 and $70,000 in bribes from an executive of Company A, and Reynolds is currently charged in a pending federal indictment. After being introduced to the undercover agent by Reynolds, Harris accepted multiple bribes amounting to $11,000 in cash from the undercover agent in exchange for his vote as a Trustee on a future contract between New Haven and Company A. In August 2016, Harris then introduced the undercover agent to Craigmiles. Harris identified Craigmiles as being another New Haven Trustee who would accept bribes. The criminal complaint charges Craigmiles with accepting a $5,000 cash bribe from the undercover FBI agent in August 2016. Craigmiles agreed to support a future contract for Company A in exchange for the money.

“Our elected officials must make decisions based on what is best for the people and our communities, not based on whether they are given cash,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade. “Elected officials who violate the public trust by accepting bribes must be arrested and prosecuted.”

"Today's announcement of public corruption charges, in the Village of New Haven, demonstrates the FBI's unyielding commitment to aggressively investigate public servants, past or present, who accept bribes in exchange for official actions, said David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI. "Illegal conduct as described today erodes the trust and confidence community members place in their elected officials and threatens the integrity of our system of governance."

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force, a multiagency task force led by the FBI Detroit Division and comprised of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Michigan State Police, Michigan Attorney General’s Office, and several other local and federal law enforcement agencies. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys R. Michael Bullotta and David A. Gardey.

Upon conviction for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666, federal program bribery, Craigmiles faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Upon conviction for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, Harris faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Court appearances for Craigmiles and Harris will take place sometime next week.

A complaint and an information are only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment.

The FBI requests that anyone having information regarding public officials accepting bribes is encouraged to contact the Detroit Division of the FBI at 313-965-2222.
Post Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:55 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

2 from New Haven plead guilty in bribery case
Jennifer Chambers , The Detroit News Published 3:15 p.m. ET Feb. 6, 2017 | Updated 9:55 p.m. ET Feb. 6, 2017

A current and a former elected official in Macomb County pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy charges in federal court on Monday and will be sentenced in June.

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland accepted guilty pleas from New Haven Trustee Christopher Craigmiles and former Trustee Brett Harris.

Both men were charged last year by federal investigators as part of a widespread public corruption investigation into municipal contracts in Macomb County.

Craigmiles, a retired Detroit transit police officer, was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

According to the criminal complaint, Craigmiles met with an FBI agent and Harris on Aug. 3 in the garage at Harris’ home.

Federal prosecutors allege it was there Craigmiles accepted $5,000 in FBI funds from the undercover agent in exchange for his vote on a contract for “Company A” with New Haven, according to the complaint.

In court Monday, his attorney, David Nacht, asked Craigmiles about the conspiracy, specifically whether another trustee introduced him to an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a representative for a Rizzo Environmental Services garbage contract.
Brett-Harris-small

It was the first time anyone associated with the case has publicly stated the contract involved in the bribes was Rizzo.

Federal officials have not identified the company, but officials with the Toronto-based GFL Environmental — which acquired Rizzo on Oct. 1 — have said they are continuing cooperate with the investigation.

Sentencing guidelines call for Craigmiles to be sentenced anywhere from 18 to 24 months in prison. His sentencing is set for June 8.

Harris allegedly met with the undercover FBI agent on March 31, April 27 and May 18, and accepted cash bribes totaling $9,000 after being introduced by Dean Reynolds, a former Clinton Township trustee. Harris accepted another $2,000 from the agent on Aug. 19, court records show.

According to the complaint, Harris told the agent that Craigmiles would also agree to bribery.

Harris faces between 33 and 41 month in prison, based on sentencing guidelines, and has agreed to cooperate with the government in its investigation and testify if necessary.

Harris faces a higher sentence on June 8 due to past drunk driving convictions. His attorney, Steven F. Fishman, said at sentencing he would argue for a reduction in the guidelines.

Craigmiles won re-election last November to a four-year term but has tendered his resignation, which New Haven officials will act on Feb. 14. Harris lost his seat.

Cleland set a June 19 trial date for Reynolds in his case. He faces eight counts of bribery involving two companies. If convicted, Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Michael Lovelock, a former Chesterfield Township supervisor, was also indicted on bribery charges. Former Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas is also named in a criminal complaint.

JChambers@detroitnews.com
Post Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:46 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Officials admit to taking cash in trash hauler corruption case

Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com By Jiquanda Johnson | jjohns16@mlive.com
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on February 08, 2017 at 3:48 PM, updated February 08, 2017 at 3:49 PM

NEW HAVEN, MI -- Two elected trustees pleaded guilty this week in a corruption case involving a trash hauler that once sought to contract with Flint to haul the city's garbage.

Christopher Craigmiles, a New Haven Trustee, admitted that he took a $5,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for his vote on the future of contract from a company identified in court records as "Company A." Former New Haven Trustee, Brettt Harris, also admitted taking $11,0000 from the same agent. Harris lost his trustee seat in the November 2016 election.

Rizzo Environmental Services was previously identified as the company tied to the federal investigation into corruption and bribery.
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Both men pleaded guilty Feb. 6 to conspiracy to commit bribery on Feb. 6.


Officials with the company pursuing a $17.5 million contract to haul Flint trash say they are working with law enforcement regarding a federal investigation claiming they were involved in "corruption" and "bribery."

Craigmiles, 43, of Lenox Township, admitted that he engaged in corrupt activity and he accepted $5,000 in cash in exchange for his vote as a New Haven Trustee. Craigmiles still serves as trustee. Harris, 57, admitted to the same activity, but he received more than twice the amount of money.

According to the Feb. 7 release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Harris accepted multiple bribes totaling $11,000 in exchange for a promise to support the company's future contract to serve New Haven.

Rizzo does not hold currently hold a contract with New Haven.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade was joined in announcing the plea agreement by Detroit Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios and Manny J. Muriel, special agent in charge with the Detroit Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

"The two township trustees who pleaded guilty [Monday] betrayed their community and the public trust in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash," McQuade said. "We all deserve better treatment from our elected officials."

The charges against Craigmiles and Harris are part of an ongoing FBI investigation that has resulted in five people, primarily in the Macomb County area, being criminally charged.

Investigators used telephone wiretaps and audio and video recordings from unnamed individuals helping with the investigation. Undercover agents, warrants and physical surveillance were also used.

"[Monday's] conviction of New Haven Village Council Trustees' Craigmiles and Harris, should serve as further reassurance to the citizens of Macomb County of the FBI's resolve to hold public officials accountable for using their positions of trust for personal gain." said Gelios. "Corrupt practices by elected officials will always be an investigative priority of the FBI and our law enforcement partners in Michigan."

Evidence presented at the plea hearing revealed that Harris conspired with Craigmiles and former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds to engage in bribery in the summer of 2016.

Reynolds, who was under investigation at the time, allegedly introduced the undercover agent to Harris who later introduced Craigmiles to the same agent who was posing as a consultant to the company.

Reynolds allegedly accepted $17,000 in cash bribes from the agent. The release also says he took between $50,000 to $70,000 in bribes from an executive of the company referred. He is facing federal indictment.

Craigmiles and Harris are scheduled for sentencing on June 8 before U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland. They are facing a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Rizzo was at the center of an ongoing garbage dispute in Flint after eight of nine Flint City Council members refused to support hiring the trash hauler to service the city.

The dispute landed the eight council members and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's administration in court as they hashed out details on the city's multi-million-dollar garbage contract. Flint City Councilman Eric Mays was the sole council member supporting Weaver's team in hiring Rizzo.

Council president deeply troubled by email in trash dispute

Ultimately, the city went with Republic Waste Services just days after the federal corruption investigation of Rizzo became public.

Former Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas and Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock have also been charged in the Rizzo corruption case.

The FBI requests that anyone having information regarding public officials accepting bribes is encouraged to contact the Detroit Division of the FBI at 313-965- 2222.
Post Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:12 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Macomb bribery suspects had money woes
Nicquel Terry , The Detroit News Published 12:00 a.m. ET March 23, 2017 | Updated 3 hours ago


MORE
Five former Macomb County officials accused in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have a history of personal financial trouble, including four who filed for bankruptcy, public records show.

In addition, two failed to pay taxes, one was investigated as part of a controversial sale of township trucks and another has multiple drunken driving offenses, The Detroit News found.

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who led the charges against all five men, told The News in an interview that money struggles, greed and opportunity are perhaps the key motivators for elected officials who take bribes.

“Public officials who accept bribes are motivated by many factors and certainly financial troubles might be one of them,” McQuade said. “But financial troubles never entitle public officials to steal public funds or accept bribes.”

The five are facing federal charges in an ongoing public corruption scandal. Former Clinton Township trustee Dean Reynolds, former Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitas and former Chesterfield Township supervisor Michael Lovelock are accused of taking bribes from an unidentified company between 2009-16, federal prosecutors allege.

Two of the five Macomb County officials accused inBuy Photo
Two of the five Macomb County officials accused in a federal corruption investigation are accused of taking bribes from an FBI agent posing as an employee for Rizzo Environmental Services, a trash hauler. (Photo: David Coates, The Detroit News)
Two other officials — former New Haven trustees Christopher Craigmiles and Brett Harris — injected themselves into the public corruption scandal by taking bribes from an FBI agent posing as an employee for Rizzo Environmental Services, a trash hauler, in 2016, according to the allegations.

In total, complaints show the five men pocketed at least $177,500.

Authorities say the officials promised vendors they would back their contracts in their communities, convinced other officials to do the same and demanded money from vendors in exchange for their support.

But it’s their most recent allegations that may prove the most damaging.

McQuade said she hopes these cases will deter other elected officials from accepting bribes and extorting contractors.

“If they know that someone is watching and paying attention, we hope that it will help them conform their behavior to what is expected,” McQuade said.

Craigmiles said during a court appearance last month the undercover FBI agent who bribed him was pretending to be a Rizzo employee. That was the first time anyone in the case publicly stated the contract involved in the bribes was Rizzo.

Rizzo, which was acquired by Toronto-based GFL in October, is not named in any of the complaints against the five defendants. However, the company acknowledges it continues to cooperate with authorities in their public corruption investigation. GFL spokesman Joe Munem declined to release any details on GFL’s role in the investigation.

Rizzo has dominated trash contracts in Metro Detroit communities for the last decade. Competing trash hauler Waste Management said it lost nearly half of its trash deals to Rizzo during that time period.

Tom Horton, spokesman for Waste Management, said it was noticed that local officials began practicing unusual bid processes, such as “allowing bids to be revised and resubmitted.”

Clinton and Macomb townships were among the towns that switched from Waste Management to Rizzo.

“We won’t speculate on factors that have helped them win bids,” Horton said in a statement. “We will continue to watch as the investigation unfolds.”

After the November election, Craigmiles was the only one of the five men who remained in public office until he resigned in February. Lovelock and Harris lost their bids for re-election. Reynolds ran for township supervisor and lost to Robert Cannon, the Republican incumbent. Freitas lost the August primary.


Dean Reynolds

Reynolds, who served three terms on the township Board of Trustees since 2004, was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 13 for allegedly accepting bribes.

The criminal complaint reveals Reynolds, 50, was facing financial troubles, including a divorce, that drove him to demand money from companies seeking contracts with Clinton Township.

Macomb County court records show Reynolds filed for divorce from Tammy Reynolds in July 2015 and the divorce was finalized in April. Records show two prior divorce filings with the couple including one initiated by Tammy Reynolds in March 2014 and the other by Dean Reynolds in May 2014.

Dean Reynolds and his ex-wife also filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in November 2014, listing more than $633,000 in liabilities. Among his assets: a $42,000 pension from Clinton Township.

Reynolds had negative income for two years before filing bankruptcy, according to court records. In 2012, the couple had $36,000 in negative income and $62,000 in negative income the prior year.

Reynolds, a registered Democrat, also had a tax problem. The state filed a $3,759 tax lien against him and his wife in July 2008. The tax debt was released two years later.

In an indictment, a grand jury alleges Reynolds took bribes on three occasions from 2009 through 2016 from two companies — identified only as Company A and Company C — that have business with Clinton Township. The alleged bribes totaled $70,000.

A judge entered a not guilty plea for Reynolds during a court appearance in November. He has a trial date set for June 19.

Attempts to reach Reynolds by phone were unsuccessful. His attorney, Stephen T. Rabaut of Clinton Township, did not respond to calls or an email requesting comment.

Clinton Township has a trash hauling contract with Rizzo that officials say is worth nearly $18 million. The township board first approved a contract with Rizzo in November 2010. The board renewed the deal in 2013 for four additional years.

Board meeting minutes show Reynolds supported the Rizzo contract each time it was up for a vote. In 2013, he made the motion for the board to renew Rizzo’s contract.

State Rep. William Sowerby, a former Clinton Township treasurer, said Reynolds was a strong advocate for Rizzo in 2013 when the board was discussing a contract renewal. Sowerby lobbied for the board to go out to bid with trash companies that year, but he was in the minority, he said.

During the meeting discussing the contract renewal, Reynolds said it wasn’t necessary to bid, noting the town hadn’t had a bid for an engineering firm in 60 years.

Reynolds also said he was concerned that smaller trash companies may have “service issues,” according to the meeting minutes.

Still, there was no indication Reynolds was being bribed behind the scenes, Sowerby said.

“Any company that is given public contracts that compromise the integrity of good government is not a good company,” Sowerby said.

Reynolds allegedly told a principal of Company A — who agreed to a cooperate with the federal investigation — that he needed money for a lawyer during his divorce, according to the complaint.

The complaint includes text from a wire-tapped phone conversation in which Reynolds’ divorce attorney, identified as Lawyer B, asked the principal of Company A to give Reynolds $5,000 for a psychological evaluation during his divorce.


Michael Lovelock

Lovelock, 58, a registered Democrat, served as the Chesterfield Township supervisor from 2008 to 2016. Federal prosecutors accused him of taking multiple bribes totaling more than $30,000 from 2010-16 from a company that had a “significant contract” with Chesterfield Township. Rizzo has provided the company’s trash services for the past 12 years, officials say.

Lovelock, who was unseated in the Nov. 8 general election, also has a history of financial troubles. He filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 2001. The case was discharged in August 2001.

Nine years later, Lovelock’s financial problems continued.

In 2010, Community Central Bank won a $5,189 civil judgment against him. The following year, in September 2011, Capital One Bank won a $7,137 judgment against Lovelock.

During his term as supervisor, Lovelock was no stranger to controversy.

In 2013, Macomb County’s sheriff and prosecutor launched an investigation after Lovelock was accused of selling six Department of Public Works trucks for $4,000 without disclosing to the township board the identity of the buyer.

However, the county found no evidence of wrongdoing by Lovelock. The probe sparked an effort by citizens to recall Lovelock as supervisor, citing lack of transparency in the truck sales as a key reason.

City Clerk Cindy Berry recalled a township board meeting in 2013 at which Lovelock pushed for the Rizzo contract renewal because it was offering free recycling bins.

“My assessment was this was a perfect time to lower the rate,” Berry said. “But his big thing was they are going to give us these (recycling bins).”

The board ultimately approved the Rizzo contract for January 2014-December 2018. Berry said she was successful in getting Rizzo to eliminate a rate increase for 2017 and 2018.

When reached by phone, Lovelock declined to comment and referred all questions to his attorney, Jerome Sabbota.

Sabbota has said the federal government had not presented enough evidence to support the bribery and corruption charges.

On Feb. 15, Sabbota said he was still awaiting discovery for the case.

“At this point, he’s presumed innocent and I believe that,” Sabbota said.

A judge entered a not-guilty plea for Lovelock in December. His trial is scheduled for July 17.


Former Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas

Freitas, 43, a Republican, was elected to the Macomb Township Board of Trustees in 2012. He simultaneously worked as a project manager for Rizzo — a job he held from June 2013 to October, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Freitas was arrested in October by FBI agents on a criminal complaint charging him with demanding and taking bribes in exchange for official help on a municipal contract. He’s accused of accepting $7,500 from the vendor, believed to be Rizzo, in return for his help in getting the contract.

Public records show Freitas was facing tax problems during the period he was allegedly accepting bribes.

In 2014, the state accused him and his wife of owing $3,115 in delinquent state taxes. The debt was released in February 2016. A neighborhood association filed two liens against him in Macomb County for unpaid assessments. One lien was filed Dec. 12, 2016, for $360.

According to board of trustees minutes, on Sept. 23, 2015, the township approved, 5-0, the only municipal contract before it — a five-year waste contract with Rizzo, which took effect Oct. 1, 2015. Freitas abstained from the vote, citing his employment with Rizzo.

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn said Freitas never pressured her to vote in favor of Rizzo. She also had no knowledge of him pushing other board members to support the company.

“He was a very quiet individual,” Dunn said. “I just never would have expected that.”

After the vendor was awarded the contract by the township, Freitas demanded an additional $35,000 from the company representative for his additional help as a public official relating to the contract, according to the complaint.

When reached by phone, Freitas declined to comment. Freitas’ listed attorney, Daniel N. Garon, did not respond to a request for an interview.

Dunn said Freitas served the community well during his four-year term on the board of trustees.

“When I got the call that morning that he had been arrested, I said, ‘You must have the wrong person,’ ” Dunn said.

When Rizzo first emerged as the center of the public corruption probe, Dunn called for the township to terminate its contract with the company.

Her feelings have since changed. She said in early February that GFL leaders had assured her they knew nothing about the alleged bribery.

“We are going to honor the contract, and we don’t see any reason to terminate or investigate it any further,” Dunn said.

In January, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit and Freitas’ defense attorney agreed to adjourn his case to give both sides more time to work on a resolution, either through a plea deal or to extend the time allowed for a grand jury to consider an indictment.

Court records show both sides sought to continue pre-indictment plea negotiations through May 12.

Brett Harris, former New Haven Village Trustee.


Harris, 57, is a long-time, popular political figure in New Haven. But he lost his seat on the New Haven board of trustees in November’s election.

Harris and his wife filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in February 2009, listing $111,689 in assets and $207,596 in liabilities. At the time, he was an unemployed maintenance worker. The case was discharged in September 2014.

Harris has served on the village board of trustees at various times since the 1990s, including stints as village president. He’s worked on a projects including the village’s Fun Fest. A former village president, Ken Sims, once accused Harris of turning the nonprofit festival into a for-profit venture for himself. Harris denied that was the case.

He is accused of meeting with an undercover FBI agent on March 31, April 27 and May 18, and accepting cash bribes totaling $9,000 after being introduced by Reynolds. Harris accepted another $2,000 from the agent on Aug. 19, court records show.

He pleaded guilty to the bribery conspiracy charges on Feb. 6 and now faces between 33 and 41 months in prison, based on sentencing guidelines. Harris agreed to cooperate with the government in its investigation and testify if necessary. His sentencing is scheduled for June 8.

Attempts to reach Harris by phone were unsuccessful. His attorney, Steven Fishman, declined to comment.

Harris has also held positions as a maintenance worker at the New Haven school district and a local machine shop.

In 2012, Harris won a seat back on the New Haven Village Board of Trustees after an unsuccessful attempt in November 2010. He was one of three candidates who ran for three four-year terms on the board in 2012.

Harris is listed as a non-partisan candidate in Macomb County Campaign Finance records.

Harris also has a well-known record of drunken driving offenses. His driving record shows he was ticketed for offenses in 1986, 1990, 1992, 2002 and 2007.

In 2008, he entered an inpatient alcohol treatment program. He resigned from office later that year amid calls from residents for his removal.

Harris’ Michigan driver’s license was suspended for more than three years: from June 6, 1992, to Dec. 6, 1995. Harris was sentenced in September 2008 to 18 months of probation, which included three months in jail.



Craigmiles, 43, a retired Detroit transit police officer, has a history of financial troubles.

He filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March 2013. He listed $53,345 in assets and $94,447 in liabilities. His largest asset was a $30,000 mobile home. At the time, Craigmiles was unemployed and disabled.

Craigmiles was pulled into the bribery scheme by Harris, who promised an undercover agent that Craigmiles could be bribed, according to a federal complaint.

On Aug. 3, Craigmiles reportedly met with an undercover FBI agent in the garage at Harris’ home. It was there that Craigmiles allegedly accepted $5,000 in FBI funds from the undercover agent in exchange for his vote on a contract for Rizzo with New Haven.

The agent was wearing audio and video recording devices during the meeting.

Craigmiles pleaded guilty to one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. Sentencing guidelines call for him to be sentenced anywhere from 18 to 24 months in prison. His sentencing is set for June 8.

A woman who answered Craigmiles’ phone Wednesday evening said he was not available for comment after previous attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

GFL confirmed that Rizzo last provided trash services to New Haven in October 2014. After that, the village voted to sign a five-year deal with Waste Management, according to Village President Chris Dilbert Sr.

Dilbert said he didn’t know why Craigmiles and Harris would be accepting bribes from Rizzo when the contract wasn’t up for renewal.

“This is all confusing to me that they would be involved in this activity,” he said in an interview with The Detroit News in January.

Craigmiles won re-election to the New Haven board of trustees last November after being previously appointed to fill a vacancy. He is listed as a non-partisan candidate in Macomb County Campaign Finance records.

Dilbert confirmed that Craigmiles submitted a letter of resignation to the village and the board accepted his resignation at its Feb. 14 meeting.

Craigmiles’ attorney, David Nacht, said Craigmiles accepts full responsibility for accepting the bribe.

Nacht described Craigmiles as a family man who gives back to the community, coaches community sports, goes to church and is married to his high school sweetheart.

“He didn’t seek this out; it sought him out,” Nacht said. “He didn’t handle it in a way that was consistent with the way he has led his entire life until now.”

nterry@detroitnews.com

313-222-6793

Twitter: @NicquelTerry

Staff Writer Robert Snell contributed.

Michael Lovelock

Office held: Former Chesterfield Township supervisor

Age: 58

Offense: Indicted on four counts of conspiracy and demanding bribes

Dean Reynolds

Office held: Former Clinton Township trustee

Age: 50

Offense: Charged with demanding and taking bribes in exchange for his vote on municipal contracts

Clifford Freitas

Office held: Former Macomb Township trustee

Age: 43

Offense: Charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, including demanding and accepting money in exchange for official acts as a trustee

Brett Harris

Office held: Former New Haven trustee

Age: 57

Offense: Charged with bribery conspiracy concerning programs receiving federal funds

Christopher Craigmiles

Office held: Former New Haven trustee

Age: 43

Offense: Charged with theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds
Post Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:06 pm 
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