Rizzo Environmental Services has been cooperating in a federal white collar crime investigation involving alleged widespread corruption in Macomb County government. As recently reported in the Detroit Free Press, the results of the investigation and the coming slew of anti-corruption charges are expected to have far-reaching effects throughout local governments in southeast Michigan. This past Thursday, the first domino fell as Clinton Township Trustee, Dean Reynolds, was charged in federal court with accepting cash bribes from Rizzo to help secure the lucrative $18 million dollar government contract extension to pick up the township’s trash until 2026.
The government claims that these charges are just the tip of the iceberg. As is often the case with federal public corruption investigations, the government claims it has amassed a wealth of evidence from a variety of sources dating back to at least 2012. The government has reportedly used wire taps, undercover FBI agents, financial records, cooperating witnesses, and physical surveillance – all common investigative tactics in federal corruption investigations.
The feds say that the corruption involved in the current matter is systemic and involves other pay-for-play bribery schemes with other companies that are contracted with various local governments. The law enforcement team behind this investigation includes many members who were involved in the successful investigation and prosecution of white collar crime involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon admitted that the trash pick-up service was the city’s highest value contract, but he speculated that federal investigators may be eyeing other services such as sewer and water. As expected, the federal government stated that it is “committed to seeing out and prosecuting corrupt public officials in all areas…” One must also wonder if the State’s Attorney General’s Office will jump on board too.
If you are an employee of local government or a company that provides municipal services through government contracts, you should consider whether your organization is a focus of this federal investigation. If you have heard of people in or near your organization being investigated or even interviewed by the FBI, or if you suspect that the company may be involved in illegal pay-for-play bribing schemes, you may already be a target. If this sounds all too familiar, former federal prosecutor John Freeman, and his 23 years of criminal law experience, is ready to evaluate your situation and to get to work for you. Contact the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC, today for an immediate consultation. Do not attempt to take on the feds alone. You will need someone strategic, and very experienced managing on-going federal investigations.