Official accused of taking bribe appears in court

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit— New Haven Trustee Christopher Craigmiles appeared in federal court Wednesday on allegations he accepted bribes from an undercover FBI agent.

Craigmiles was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Stafford granted Craigmiles a $10,000 unsecured bond during his initial appearance on the complaint on Wednesday. Stafford scheduled Craigmiles’ preliminary examination for 1 p.m. Feb. 8.

Craigmiles declined to talk to reporters outside of court.

The court appointed the Federal Defender Office to represent him.

Craigmiles, a retired Detroit transit police officer, reportedly met with an FBI agent and former New Haven Trustee Brett Harris on Aug. 3 in the garage at Harris’ home.

It was there that Craigmiles allegedly accepted $5,000 in FBI funds from the undercover agent in exchange for his vote on a contract for “Company A” with New Haven, according to the complaint.

Federal officials have not identified the company, but officials with the Toronto-based GFL Environmental — which acquired Rizzo Environmental Services on Oct. 1 — have said they are continuing cooperate with the investigation.

The agent was wearing audio and video recording devices during the meeting.

Harris allegedly met with the undercover FBI agent on March 31, April 27 and May 18 and accepted cash bribes totaling $9,000 after being introduced by Dean Reynolds, a former Clinton Township trustee. Harris accepted another $2,000 from the agent on Aug. 19.

According to the complaint, Harris told the agent that Craigmiles would also agree to bribery.

Craigmiles won re-election last November, but Harris lost his seat.

Reynolds and Michael Lovelock, a former Chesterfield Township supervisor, were also indicted on bribery charges. Former Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas is also named in a criminal complaint.

If convicted of federal program bribery, Craigmiles faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.


Twitter: @NicquelTerry