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Embattled Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci retired Tuesday, one year after being indicted on bribery, extortion, fraud, theft and money laundering charges in connection with the widespread Macomb County corruption scandal.

Bucci sent township officials a one-line statement reading "Effective immediately, I, Dino Bucci, hereby retire as a Macomb Township Trustee."

The resignation caps a tumultuous year during which Bucci, the onetime right-hand man of former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, was portrayed by prosecutors as a bully and a bungling crook and who resisted repeated calls for his resignation while skipping township duties. Federal court records accuse Bucci of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars while extorting engineering contractors and forcing county employees to drive his child to school and plow snow at his home.

Bucci, 59, was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017 after investigators amassed evidence including secret video recordings and a wiretap of his disposable "burner" cellphone, which the Macomb politician failed to throw away, according to court records.

Bucci is one of the last remaining Macomb County politicians facing criminal charges in a scandal that has led to at least 17 convictions, including that of Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds.

There has been little activity in Bucci's case during the past year as prosecutors continue to investigate Marrocco, his former boss. Marrocco, who lost a 2016 re-election bid, is a target of the FBI corruption investigation, according to a sealed wiretap affidavit obtained by The News in December.

In February, Bucci gave $66,000 to FBI agents, a possible sign he is cooperating with a public corruption investigation targeting Marrocco.

Bucci is free on bond while awaiting a February jury trial. If convicted, Bucci could be sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI picked up the $66,000 from Bucci in Clinton Township, the same community where Bucci’s lawyers have offices. The $66,000 matches the amount of kickbacks prosecutors say Bucci received at one point from township contractor Christopher Sorrentino, who is cooperating with investigators.

Sorrentino met Bucci at the Macomb County Public Works office in Clinton Township in November 2014 and delivered a bag containing $66,000 cash, according to the indictment.

“During the meeting, Dino Bucci yelled at Sorrentino for not being secretive enough in giving Bucci the bag of money,” prosecutors wrote.

Targets of FBI corruption investigations have turned over money to local investigators in recent years before striking plea deals with federal prosecutors.

In early 2016, Fiat Chrysler executive Alphons Iacobelli was under investigation in a corruption probe. He was accused of buying a $365,000 Ferrari with funds that were supposed to benefit blue-collar union workers.

FBI agents recovered some of the money.

In March 2016, a $354,000 check was given to the U.S. Marshals Service by the law firm Butzel Long. That’s the same firm that employs Iacobelli’s defense lawyer, David DuMouchel.

Iacobelli later pleaded guilty for his role in the auto-industry corruption investigation and was sentenced to 51/2 years in federal prison.

rsnell@detroitnews.com 

(313) 222-2486

Twitter: @robertsnellnews

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