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Macomb County's Public Works Commissioner has asked the state attorney general to investigate more than $500,000 in contracts the agency awarded from 2011 to 2014.

Commissioner Candice Miller said she has requested the attorney general's office to launch a probe into the contracts, which involve Detroit-based Giffels Webster and one or more individuals who have been linked to a public corruption scandal.

Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, said the office is "actively working with Commissioner Miller to root out alleged public corruption in Macomb County." 

The contracts involve five projects for inspections and improvements of county assets. Money from state sources were used to pay for the contracts, the commissioner said.

Miller said Giffels Webster used a private company owned by former Clinton Township planning director Carlo Santia as a subcontractor.

Santia recently testified in court that the company intentionally overcharged the engineering firm and he used the money to reimburse Paulin Modi, who was a Giffels Webster employee at the time, for bribes he paid to Clinton Township trustee Dean Reynolds.

She said it would be "irresponsible not to have the Attorney General scrutinize the contracts to ensure no public money was misdirected."

Miller, a former congresswoman, contacted the attorney general's office Monday and is in the process of gathering financial documents for the contracts to give to investigators.

Last September, Modi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe a public official in a scandal involving numerous Macomb County communities, trash hauler Rizzo Environmental Services, Detroit towing magnate Gasper Fiore and the Macomb County Public Works Office.

Reynolds was convicted of 14 bribery-related charges stemming from the corruption scandal.

Miller also said three of the contracts in question were executed when the county agency's chief engineer was Jim Pistilli. Pistilli, who also pleaded guilty last September to bribery conspiracy, left the department in June 2012 and joined Giffels Webster in October 2012.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez
 

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