Businessman set to plead guilty in Macomb scandal
Federal prosecutors have charged 12 people in a widespread bribery scandal involving corrupt municipal trash and towing contract. Rob Snell, The Detroit News
Detroit – A Bloomfield Hills man accused of plotting to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Rizzo Environmental Services is expected to plead guilty for his role in the Macomb County public corruption scandal.
Derrick Hicks, 47, is scheduled to plead guilty at 10 a.m. June 30 in federal court in Port Huron, according to court records. Details about the plea deal were not available Wednesday.
A plea could give prosecutors a key witness against three key figures charged in the scandal: former Rizzo CEO Chuck Rizzo, towing titan Gasper Fiore and former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds.
The hearing was set three weeks after Hicks was indicted and accused of participating in conspiracy to bribe Reynolds in return for his support of municipal contracts.
Rizzo, his father Charles Rizzo, Fiore, Hicks and others plotted to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Rizzo Environmental Services using a fake legal settlement agreement, fraudulent consulting deals, kickbacks, shell companies and stealing money to help pay for Chuck Rizzo’s mansion in Bloomfield Township, the government alleges.
Some of the stolen money bankrolled bribes for public officials to maintain and secure additional municipal garbage contracts, prosecutors say.
Chuck Rizzo called the embezzled cash OPM, short for “other people’s money,” according to prosecutors.
Chuck Rizzo, Charles Rizzo, Fiore and Hicks also were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
In all, 12 people have been charged in the corruption scandal.