Second suspect pleads guilty in ticket fixing scheme

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A second person has been sentenced for fixing tickets at 36th District Court, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday.

Charles Fair, 44, will spend six months in the Wayne County jail as part of his 24-month probation sentence handed down Monday by Wayne Circuit Court Judge Gregory Bill. Fair will receive 11 days’ credit and has been ordered to pay $2,638 in restitution within a year.

Fair pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery in the bribery scheme, which authorities said involved co-conspirator Annette Bates. Bates, a former clerk at the court, and Fair, who did not work at the court, allegedly accepted $20,000 in bribes to dismiss about $40,000 the traffic fines between October 2010 and January 2013.

Bates also was charged with two felony counts of forgery in the case. She pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

The plan was uncovered after a joint investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Detroit area FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force. The probe, which spanned two years, found that Fair and Bates, forged judges’ signatures to dismiss the tickets.

The dismissal requests were channeled through Fair to Bates and then on to a court clerk, who expunged tickets from court records without the judges knowing about it.

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