Michigan officials plead guilty for accepting bribes from Rizzo Environmental

Michigan officials plead guilty for accepting bribes from Rizzo Environmental

The Macomb County officials accepted the bribes in exchange for a vote in favor of Rizzo’s hauling contract.

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February 8, 2017

Two Macomb County, Michigan, elected officials pleaded guilty to charges related to accepting bribes from a waste hauler in exchange for hauling contract deals, a report by the Detroit Free Press says. Rizzo Environmental Services is the hauler accused of offering bribes.

An undercover FBI agent posed as a Rizzo representative and offered a $5,000 bribe to New Haven Trustee Christopher Craigmiles and four bribes totaling in $11,000 to Trustee Brett Harris, who introduced the agent to Craigmiles, the report says. Both men accepted the bribes in exchange for their votes in favor of Rizzo’s hauling contract.

Craigmiles was sentenced to 18 to 24 months in federal prison through a plea deal, the report says, and prosecutors have agreed to seek a lighter sentence if he continues to cooperate. Harris was sentenced to 33 to 41 months and is also eligible for a lighter sentence through cooperation.

Rizzo Environmental Services has not been charged in the case, according to the report.

Five officials in total are involved in the corruption probe, which was publicly disclosed in October 2016, the report says. Craigmiles and Harris are the first to cut deals in the case. The public disclosure of the case caused Chuck Rizzo Jr., CEO of Rizzo, to resign. The brand was acquired by GFL Environmental, Sterling Heights, Michigan in September 2016.

Former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds and former Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock have also been charged with accepting bribes from the waste hauler.