New allegations lead to trial delay for Carmack

Detroit — The trial date for businessman Robert Carmack has been delayed nearly four months after new allegations against him surfaced Friday at a pretrial hearing.

But exactly what those allegations are was unclear, as prosecution and defense lawyers would not clarify.

Defendant Robert Carmack sits in Judge Cynthia Miller's courtroom during his preliminary hearing at 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan on May 24, 2019.

Carmack was scheduled to go to trial Oct. 21 before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Noah Hood, but the trial was postponed to Feb. 3 after the allegations were raised Friday during a discussion in the judge's chambers.

Carmack's co-counsel, Steve Haney, said the allegations have not risen to new charges against his client because prosecutors across the state declined to bring them. Haney and co-counsel Lillian Diallo said the new allegations were made by Detroit Police investigator Rebecca McKay and allegedly involve a trash hauler contractor.

The defense attorneys told reporters they did not have any more details because the allegations were just presented to them Friday before the beginning of a brief pretrial hearing. During the hearing, the attorneys were expected to present arguments on the defense's motion to dismiss charges that Carmack defrauded the city of Detroit in a land deal.

Carmack, 59, of Woodhaven faces four felonies in connection with the 2016 sale of a 10-acre parcel at 7751 Melville St. in southwest Detroit. Authorities allege Carmack never completed a $250,000 purchase of the site but used draft documents from 2007 to fraudulently represent that he owned the land before selling it. He faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

Haney said the newly-surfaced allegations reflect new efforts by Detroit authorities to "to get (Carmack) charged" and suggested that "this whole thing is personal between Bob Carmack, the mayor and the city of Detroit."

"The city of Detroit (and) Wayne County tried to get him charged with more crimes," said Haney. "They took it to every prosecutor ... and they ran it up the flagpole and no prosecutor in the state of Michigan will take this new case that they wanted to charge against Mr. Carmack. If the motives were ever questionable, we know today what's going on with Mr. Carmack and the city of Detroit."

"The Genesee (County) prosecutor's office always knew about it," Diallo said after the hearing. "We just found out about it this morning. So that absolutely goes to, is this prosecutor fair? Cause all we want is fairness. Prosecutors are supposed to be ministers of justice."

Hood set a Dec. 19 date for pretrial hearings on the defense' motion to dismiss the case and one alleging "vindictive prosecution" because of the new allegations made Friday against Carmack.

Assistant Genesee County Prosecutor Patrick McCombs declined to comment on Friday's hearing.

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