Clinton Twp. trustee indicted in bribery case

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Clinton Township trustee accused of demanding and taking bribes in exchange for his vote on municipal contracts was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on eight counts of bribery involving two companies.

Dean Reynolds, 49, was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 13 for allegedly accepting $50,000 from a company that secured a “significant” contract with Clinton Township.

Federal officials have not identified the company, but officials with Rizzo Environmental Services have confirmed they are cooperating in the investigation.

Reynolds was due in federal court Thursday but his hearing was rescheduled for Nov. 10.

The grand jury alleges Reynolds took bribes on three occasions from 2009 through 2016 from two companies — identified only as Company A and Company C — that have business with Clinton Township. The bribes totaled $70,000.

In an earlier criminal complaint, prosecutors allege Reynolds also took bribes from a Company B. But no charges have been filed in connection with that contractor.

In connection with one company, Reynolds accepted bribes between 2009 and 2013 amounting to $9,000 in cash and a $7,000 check. Between 2012 and 2015, Reynolds demanded and accepted bribes amounting to over $50,000 in cash, along with other things of value, from a second company.

Reynolds accepted bribes on three occasions from an undercover FBI agent totaling $7,000 in 2016. The crime was captured on video, federal officials said.

Reynolds also took an additional $10,000 in cash bribes from a representative of one of the companies after that individual began cooperating with the FBI, according to authorities.

The FBI says it wiretapped a phone conversation in July 2015 during which Reynolds allegedly refers to the businessman and bribes he is receiving in exchange for supporting an $18 million contract.

Reynolds’ arrest on Oct. 13 as well as the Oct. 25 arrest of a second Macomb County elected official, Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitas, on bribery charges in connection with Rizzo are all part of the FBI’s sweeping public corruption investigation into officials in Macomb County.

Freitas, 43, was arrested by FBI agents on a criminal complaint charging him with demanding and taking bribes in exchange for official help on the municipal contract.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the two arrests and corruption charges stem from an investigation into systemic corruption in several municipalities in southeast Michigan.

Investigators used telephone wiretaps, audio and video recordings by “cooperative individuals,” undercover operations and subpoenas of financial records and other documents in their probe.

Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn, meanwhile, called Thursday for the termination of her community's contract with Rizzo.

If convicted, Reynolds faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Freitas, whose term on the township board ends Nov. 20, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is due back in court on Nov. 15.