Detroit — A current and former Wayne County official were arraigned Tuesday on charges related to the overbudget, long-stalled county jail project.

Former Chief Financial Officer Carla Sledge and assistant corporation counsel Steve Collins pleaded not guilty before Third Circuit Judge Thomas Jackson. They were released on $1,000 bonds.

They were indicted earlier this month along with former jail consultant Anthony Parlovecchio following a yearlong investigation headed by Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny into cost overruns and delays to the jail. Work stopped last year on the project at Gratiot and Madison when cost estimates soared to $391 million from $300 million.

Sledge and Collins face five-year felonies on claims they intentionally misled county commissioners and building authority members about the true costs of the project. They and Anthony Parlovecchio are charged with willful neglect of duty as a public official, a misdemeanor.

Parlovecchio attended Tuesday's hearing but is scheduled to be arraigned in 36th District Court, which handles misdemeanors.

Jackson ordered the pair not to have any contact with any private or public officials connected to the jail construction.

Harold Gurewitz, Sledge's attorney, said he is "in amazement" and still has few details on allegations. The indictment is one page and contains few details.

A scheduling hearing for Collins and Sledge is scheduled for Friday.

Collins' attorney, James C. Thomas, said it's unclear if Collins will be allowed to return to work. He is on paid leave, a county spokeswoman said Monday.


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