Feds to Macomb bribery convict: Prove you have cancer
Detroit — Federal prosecutors want a politician convicted in the Macomb County corruption scandal to prove he has cancer before deciding whether he should be released on bond pending a possible 20-year prison sentence.
Former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds says he needs to leave jail so he can have surgery for kidney cancer and visit his mother in hospice.
But prosecutors say there are no medical records supporting a cancer diagnosis for Reynolds, 51, who has been jailed since June 21, when a jury convicted him of 14 bribery-related charges.
"Despite claiming that he has kidney cancer and needs follow-up surgery, starting a public funding web page to raise money for alleged cancer treatment, and directly telling this court that he has cancer, there is no corroboration that this is true," Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Gardey and Michael Bullotta wrote in a court filing Wednesday.
"If the defendant were able to provide such documentation or doctor testimony in the future, the government would reconsider its position as to a grant of bond for necessary medical surgery," they added.
The government is concerned Reynolds could harm himself or others if released on bond pending an Oct. 25 sentencing that could put him in prison for decades. He stood trial in federal court after rejecting a plea agreement that called for him to plead guilty to two counts of bribery conspiracy and be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
"When his proffered reasons for release are balanced against the potential that he might harm himself or others given such a grim forecast, the court should decline to take the gamble of releasing the defendant on bond," the prosecutors wrote.
Defense lawyer Stephen Rabaut said Reynolds is not dangerous and suggested he be released with a GPS tether.
Reynolds was free on bond after being charged in October 2016 but was jailed following the jury verdict.
"The defendant is in a much different place now, knowing that his fate is sealed," prosecutors wrote. "While the government does not believe that the defendant would be able to successfully flee for any sustained period of time, it still believes that the defendant is a potential flight risk given the sentence he faces."
During the trial in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, jurors heard government testimony, wiretaps and secretly made recordings between Reynolds, waste hauling contractors and FBI agents that reflect the exchange of thousands of dollars and free legal services in exchange for Reynolds’ political influence in obtaining lucrative township contracts for former trash company CEO Chuck Rizzo.
Reynolds was the first person to stand trial in a Macomb County corruption scandal that has led to federal charges against 20 contractors and public officials and produced 15 convictions, including Rizzo and towing titan Gasper Fiore.
Many audio and video recordings presented to jurors came from Rizzo, who became an informant with the U.S. Attorney’s Office as part of a plea deal. Rizzo has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison and fined $250,000 for bribery and embezzlement charges.