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Feds charge lawyer in Macomb County corruption case

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A lawyer has been charged in connection with the Macomb County public corruption case, the seventh person accused of a crime in the widening scandal.

Angelo Selva of Macomb Township is accused of concealing a bribery conspiracy involving Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds, a Rizzo Environmental Services executive and the company’s lawyer in September 2015.

The Sterling Heights company has been accused of bribing public officials while expanding a business empire that reached 54 Metro Detroit communities.

Selva, 59, was charged Tuesday in a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is expected. The charge is punishable by up to three years in federal prison.

Selva is a former Southfield attorney whose law license was suspended for three years in 2005. He failed to act honestly in connection with escrow funds, according to the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board, and was ordered to repay $10,000.

Selva is not listed in the Michigan Bar Association directory and his status as a lawyer was unclear Wednesday.

He could not be reached for comment. Last fall, he received a court-appointed lawyer but the attorney is not identified in federal court records.

The criminal charge, and Selva’s possible guilty plea, could put pressure on Reynolds, the former township trustee. He is the only remaining public official charged in the case who either has not pleaded guilty or reached a plea deal with the government.

Selva was charged five days after former Rizzo manager Quintin Ramanauskas was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and wire fraud and accused of delivering bribes to public officials.

He is expected to plead guilty next month in federal court.

Ramanauskas, 53, left a $3,000 bribe for Reynolds in November 2015 and a bribe totaling several thousand dollars for former Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock in fall 2015, according to court records.

Rizzo, which was acquired by Toronto-based GFL Environmental Inc. in October, is not named in any of the complaints against the seven defendants. However, the company acknowledged earlier this year that it was cooperating with the government investigation.

Reynolds, meanwhile, was indicted in November and accused of taking $50,000 to $70,000 in cash from Rizzo in exchange for supporting the firm’s $3.5 million annual contract bid. He also was charged with taking $17,000 in cash from an undercover FBI agent.

Former Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors and is expected to plead guilty June 1, according to federal court records.

The nature of the plea hearing is unclear, but Freitas is charged with bribery conspiracy involving federal funds, a five-year felony.

Freitas is accused of pocketing $7,500 in bribes from Rizzo between July 2015 and January 2016.

Lovelock also is expected to plead guilty June 1. In November, he was indicted on four counts of conspiracy and demanding bribes in exchange for corruptly influencing his decisions as a supervisor.

Federal prosecutors accused him of taking multiple bribes totaling more than $30,000 from 2010-16 from a company that had a “significant contract” with Chesterfield Township. Rizzo has provided the company’s trash services for the past 12 years, officials say.

Former New Haven trustees Christopher Craigmiles and Brett Harris also were accused of taking bribes from an FBI agent posing as a Rizzo employee.

Both have reached plea deals and are awaiting sentencing dates in federal court.

Last week, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said a federal grand jury is investigating her office and has subpoenaed testimony from about a dozen public employees.

FBI agents are asking questions about Miller’s predecessor, Anthony Marrocco; his former deputy, Dino Bucci, and millions of dollars in payments to an unnamed county contractor, Miller said.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2486

Twitter: @robertsnellnews