Officials of AFSCME Local 207 said Monday the Synagro contract should be rescinded. Its president, John Riehl, is flanked by attorney George B. Washington, left, and union secretary/treasurer Michael Mulholland. (Wayne E. Smith / The Detroit News)
DETROIT -- City Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said Monday he plans to move to rescind the controversial Synagro Technologies Inc. contract as soon as today.
"Clearly, the contract is tainted," he said. "(Monday's plea) leads me to believe there's enough grounds to rescind."
The Mayor's Office can rebid the contract, he said.
His comments came hours after a Synagro vice president, James Rosendall Jr., pleaded guilty to bribery charges. Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins said "it looks like" a council member accepted a bribe to support the 2007 contract that the council approved by a 5-4 vote.
"First the community lost confidence in the mayor," said Collins, referring to jailed former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. "I don't want them to lose confidence in council. I don't want them to think this is a regular thing, because it's not."
Federal documents in Rosendall's arraignment refer to a "City Council Member A" who was paid in exchange for support.
Federal officials have electronic surveillance evidence that allegedly links Council President Monica Conyers to receiving a payment or payments in connection with the Synagro contract, persons familiar with the investigation have said. Conyers, who has denied wrongdoing, declined comment through a spokeswoman Monday. Collins was questioned by the FBI in July on whether she took money for her vote, and she reiterated Monday she wasn't offered any bribe. "Nobody offered me anything," Collins said. "I didn't ask for anything. If I would have been offered anything, I would have voted no."
Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said indictments will end speculation over whom the FBI is targeting.
"As far as I'm concerned, the sooner the indictments come down, the better," he said. "In my view, at that point, we're going to know what's what."
Also Monday, officials for a city union, AFSCME Local 207, reiterated calls for the Synagro contract to be rescinded. Its president, John Riehl, said, "Corruption in city contracts has now been proven."