Posted on October 13, 2016
Company at center of Flint trash dispute faces allegations of bribes in Macomb County case
MACOMB COUNTY — The company at the center of a trash hauling contract dispute in the City of Flint has been accused of giving bribes to a government official in Macomb County's Clinton Township.
A story by the Detroit Free Press said a source confirmed for the newspaper that Rizzo Environmental Services paid the bribe in exchange for Trustee Dean Reynolds voting for RIzzo on a 10-year contract before the Clinton Township Board of Trustees.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade revealed that the indictment against Reynolds is part of a commitment by her office in "seeking out and prosecuting corrupt public officials in all areas ... including suburban communities."" McQuade led the prosecution in the Detroit public corruption case that resulted in 36 indictments, including a 28-year prison sentence for former disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
"Corruption undermines the very nature of representative government," McQuade said ina statement after charging Reynolds in court Thursday. He appeared before a judge in handcuffs.
A charging document indicated that the FBI used wire taps and an informant to allege that Reynolds took bribes of between $50,000 and $70,000 while accepting a free attorney for a divorce. A source told the Detroit Free Press that the informant was an official at Rizzo Environmental Services. The charging document also said the indictment against Reynolds was part of an "extensive investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County."
Rizzo Environmental Services has garbage contracts in several Detroit area communities. Rizzo was also the low bidder on a five-year contarct in the City of Flint, which has been opposed by an 8-1 margin of city council members locked in a battle with Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Weaver. Some of the city council members have expressed concerns because a Weaver supporter, Woodrow Stanley, is working as a consultant for Rizzo and initially denied he was working for the company.
Stanley was accused by Flint City Councilman Wantwaz Davis of getting $1.7 million for his pockets if Rizzo gets Flint's contract. Davis had his comments posted on a web site operated by Town Square Media radio station WFNT. Stanley told The Morning Gazette Radio Show that comments by Davis were untrue and both libelous and slanderous.
Reynolds, 49, is a current candidate on the ballot as a Democrat challenging the incumbent Republican supervisor in Clinton Township. He has been on the board for 12 years.
A statement was issued Thursday by Joseph A. Munem, director of government affairs and public relations for Rizzo, which read as follows: "In this, as in all matters, we’re cooperating with the legal authorities. We will follow their guidance so long as it may be required in the coming weeks. We will continue to focus on delivery of our services, and to demonstrate to our employees, partners and customers that we remain the premier provider of environmental services in our community.”
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Dean Reynolds (pictured at right) was indicted Thursday in Macomb County for allegedly taking bribes. The Detroit Free Press said a source confirmed that Reynolds took bribes from a Rizzo Environmental Services on a 10-year contract before the Clinton Township Board of Trustees. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade alleged in the indictment that Reynolds took between $50,000 and $70,000 in exchange for his vote. Rizzo Environmental is the same company locked in a bitter dispute over a trash hauling contract in the City of Flint.
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