Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Feds can be proud of this case

Yesterday's convictions of Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson pretty much put the finishing touches on a highly successful public corruption case in Detroit by the feds. The success of this case was needed following some debacles pursued by the feds in some other cases, particularly in Macomb County the Carl Marlinga and Chuck Busse cases from the early 2000s.

Here's the tally of the public corruption cases in Detroit and Wayne County, released by the U.S. Attorney Office in Detroit. (more is expected in the Wayne County case)

37 people charged, 35 convicted, two awaiting trial

Monica Conyers, former City Council President Pro Tem and Trustee of the
City’s General Retirement System, pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy and
was sentenced to 37 months.
Rayford Jackson, former consultant to Synagro Technologies (an
environmental technology company from Houston), pled guilty to bribing
Councilwoman Conyers and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
James Rosendall, former President of Synagro of Michigan, pled guilty to a
bribery conspiracy and was sentenced to 11 months.
John Clark - former Chief of Staff to the then Detroit City Council President
Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., pleaded guilty to lying to agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (“FBI”) during their corruption investigation relating to the Synagro
Technologies, Inc. (“Synagro”) sludge hauling contract. Clark was sentenced to
5 months in prison and two years of supervised release.
Samuel L. Riddle, Jr., was sentenced to 37 months for his role in conspiring to
bribe Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore in connection with the
Southfield City Council's approval of the relocation of a pawn shop and other
related offenses. In addition, Riddle was sentenced on charges that he
conspired with Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers to extort money from
individuals having business before the Detroit City Council and the Board of
Trustees of the General Retirement System.
Mary Waters was sentenced to one-year probation for her role in the Southfield
William Lattimore, a former member of the Southfield City Council, was
sentenced to 18 months in federal prison today based on his conviction for
DeDan C. Milton (former Executive Assistant to the former Mayor of Detroit),
Kandia Milton (Liaison to City Council for the former Mayor, and later Deputy
Mayor) and Jerry Rivers (a former police officer) all pleaded guilty to
participating in a bribery conspiracy relating to the sale of property by the City of
Detroit – namely, a 160-acre campsite in Livingston County called Camp
Brighton/Detroit Recreation Camp. DeDan Milton was sentenced to 37 months,
Kandia Milton was sentenced to 14 months and Rivers received 12 months and
a day.
Glenn Blanton, former Director of Cobo Hall Civic Center (Detroit’s municipal
convention center), pled guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with his
receipt of bribes, cooperated with the government, and was sentenced to 12
months in prison.
Lou Pavledes, former Director of Cobo Hall Civic Center, pled guilty to
structuring his receipt of bribe payments to evade currency reporting
requirements, cooperated with the government, and was sentenced to 14
Karl Kado, President of Metro Services Organization, a municipal contractor,
pled guilty to evading taxes associated with moneys used to bribe public officials,
cooperated with the government, and was sentenced to probation.
Derrick Miller, former Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Detroit, pleaded
guilty to corruption and tax offenses. Awaiting sentencing.
Emma Bell, a former fundraiser for Kwame Kilpatrick, pleaded guilty to two
counts of tax evasion. She is awaiting sentencing.
Victor Mercado, former Director of the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage
Department has pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with
one count of conspiracy related to the ongoing public corruption trial of former
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and long time friend Bobby
Andrew Park - an owner and executive of Asian Village Detroit, Inc. (“Asian
Village”), Pangborn Technovations, Inc. (“PTI”), and the Security Communication
Alert Network (“SCAN”), was sentenced to twelve months in prison and two
years of supervised release based on Park’s December 17, 2010 guilty plea to
tax evasion for his failure to report and pay taxes. Park was also ordered to
restitution in the amount of $302,000.
Jon Rutherford - president and CEO of Metro Emergency Services, Inc., (MES)
was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years supervised
release and Judith Bugaiski, the former Controller of MES, was sentenced to
three years probation, with the first 90 days to be served in a residential re-entry
program. Bugaiski was also ordered to pay $69,445 to the Internal Revenue
Service. Rutherford diverted grant money to himself, and channeled money into
his property management company, DPR Management LLC, (DPR) so that he
could use the money for political payments and campaign expenses. Bugaiski, at
the direction of Rutherford, maintained the books and records, knowing that the
information was false.
Marc Andre Cunningham - Former Executive Assistant to the Mayor of Detroit
during the Kilpatrick Administration, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit
bribery. At the request of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Cunningham agreed
to reward the former mayor for supporting the pension fund deal by paying the
former mayor's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, a portion of the $300,000 commission
that Cunningham received from the venture capital firm. After Cunningham
received his periodic commission payments from the venture capital firm, he
gave a portion of that money (in amounts between $4,000 to $6,000), in cash, to
Bernard Kilpatrick. The total amount of cash Cunningham paid to Bernard
Kilpatrick was at least $15,000. He is awaiting sentence.
Tabitha Goodner - former Operations Manager of XCEL Construction Services,
Inc. pleaded guilty to her role in the bid-rigging case against Bobby Ferguson.
Goodner submitted false documents as part of an effort to allow Ferguson
Enterprises, Inc. to bid on, perform and receive payment for public works projects
awarded by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Goodner was ordered to
by a $5,000 fine.
Shakib Deria - former Project Executive and former Director of Demolition and
Environmental Remediation at Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. pleaded guilty for his
role in the bid-rigging case against Bobby Ferguson involving the Garden View
Estates public housing project in Detroit. Deria helped Bobby W. Ferguson
obtain $171,000.00 in cash through eighteen separate withdrawals of $9,500.00
each made from that account. The two structured the withdrawals into amounts
under $10,000.00 in an effort to avoid having those transactions reported to
federal authorities. Deria received a sentence of 36 months probation.
Rodney Burrell - A businessman from Northville, Michigan pleaded guilty for his
role in the Ferguson bid-rigging conspiracy case involving the Garden View
Estates public housing project in Detroit. Burrell falsely inflated project bid
documents submitted in the name of BURRELL’s company called R & R Heavy
Haulers. A second defendant named Brian Dodds also pleaded guilty to
participating in the same bid rigging scheme on behalf of his company D & R
Earthmoving. The false bids were created at the direction of Bobby Ferguson and
were used as part of a dishonest scheme to make it appear that the $11.9 million
bid submitted by Bobby W. Ferguson's company Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. was
the "lowest" bid presented to perform demolition, earth work, and utilities
installation at the Garden View Estates project. Both received a sentence of 24
months probation.
Charlie Golden - former Assistant Superintendent of Buildings for the City of
Detroit, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery. Golden admitted to meeting with
a City contractor whose contracts Golden supervised and accepted a $10,000
bribe payment which Golden intended to use to pay for the installation of a range
hood and fan at his privately-owned church. He is awaiting sentencing.
Roy Dixon - president of Onyx Capital Advisers, was charged in a superseding
indictment with defrauding and embezzling over $3 million from the two City of
Detroit pension funds and a City of Pontiac pension fund. Dixon also was
charged with conspiring with former City of Detroit Treasurer Jeffrey Beasley to
give Beasley and others bribes in order to secure approval of Dixon's requests
for investment money from pension funds. Dixon was added as a defendant in a
superseding indictment that had originally named Beasley alone with conspiring
with others to personally enrich himself and his co-conspirators by accepting
bribes in return for approving investment requests to the Detroit pension funds.
The superseding indictment also adds a new charge against Beasley for taking a
bribe from Dixon. Both are awaiting trial.
Chauncey Mayfield - former investment advisor to the two City of Detroit
pension funds, pleaded guilty to conspiring with former Detroit Treasurer Jeffrey
Beasley to pay him bribes in exchange for new business from the pension funds,
Mayfield admitted that between 2006 and 2008 he had an agreement with the
then City Treasurer Beasley to pay bribes to Beasley and others to influence
Beasley's decisions as a Trustee of Detroit's Police and Fire Retirement System
and General Retirement System. He is awaiting sentencing.
Michael Woodhouse - awaiting re-trial
Calvin Hall - awaiting re-trial
Alonzo Bates - former Detroit City Councilman hired and paid “ghost”
employees and accepted free construction services in exchange for favorable
voting as a council member. Received a sentence of 33 months and ordered to
pay restitution in the amount of $91,168.
Mike Rosette - contractor made false statements to FBI in regards to the Bates
investigation and was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay a
$5,000 fine.
Britni Barber - Bates’ ghost employee, pleaded guilty to theft and sentenced to
2 years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $32,000.
Verenda Arnold - Bates’ ghost employee, pleaded guilty to theft and sentenced
to 2 years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $43,000.
Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson, convicted

Michael Grundy - Former Wayne County Assistant County Executive Michael
Demetrus Grundy, of Detroit, was charged in an Indictment with receiving
kickbacks and extortion in connection with his position as Executive Director of
HealthChoice of Michigan. Michael Grundy conspired to personally enrich
himself and his longtime friend, Keith Griffin, by bilking HealthChoice, also called
Wayne County HealthChoice Grundy was also charged with conspircy to
obstruct justice by attempting to mislead federal investigators after subpoenas
were served on Wayne County. Grundy is awaiting trial.
Tahir Kazmi - former Chief Information Officer for Wayne County pleaded guilty
to taking bribes from a private contractor. Kazmi admitted that he accepted
bribes from a private contractor in the form of cash, trips to Hawaii, Turkey, and
Florida, and other things of value all totaling approximately $70,000. The private
contractor who paid the bribes to Kazmi had multi-million dollar technology
contracts with Wayne County. He is awaiting sentencing.
Zayd Allebban - former Wayne County Director of Enterprise Applications was
found guilty by a federal jury on charges of falsifying documents with the intent
to obstruct justice. The purpose of the falsified documents was to conceal a
bribery/extortion scheme by Allebban’s friend and supervisor, Tahir Kazmi,
former Wayne County Chief Information Officer. Allebban and Kazmi sought to
obstruct justice by seeking to persuade a private contractor to provide false
information to the FBI and to a federal grand jury investigating corruption in the
Wayne County government. Allebban is awaiting sentencing.
David Edwards - former Deputy Chief Information Officer for Wayne County
pleaded guilty to taking illegal gratuities from a private contractor because of his
official acts, Edwards admitted that between 2009 and 2011 he accepted
$13,000 in cash from a private contractor who had significant technology
contracts with Wayne County. During this period of time, Edwards was
responsible for overseeing the private contractor's work for Wayne County.
Edwards took the cash from the contractor as a reward for his work as a county
official. He is awaiting sentencing.


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