Judge unseals file in Wayne County jail project probe

The Detroit News

Detroit – — A Wayne County judge unsealed a court file Tuesday in a case of alleged corruption tied to construction of a new Wayne County jail.

The file — for a one-man grand jury indictment of three current and former Wayne County officials as part of an investigation into millions of dollars in cost overruns in the stalled jail project — did not contain any new or unreported information about the case, nor did it it contain transcripts from the grand jury proceedings.

Last week, Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans upheld a gag order barring all parties from talking to reporters. Evans said she was concerned about public discussion of the case because it emanated from grand jury proceedings, which are conducted in secret.

Evans had sealed the court file because she was worried it might contain transcripts from the grand jury proceedings.

Charged in the case are retired chief financial officer Carla Sledge, Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel Steven Collins and Anthony Parlovecchio, a former economic development deputy who was fired as owner representative of the jail project.

Sledge and Collins face felony counts of misconduct in office, accused of giving false or misleading information about the cost of a new jail, plus misdemeanor counts of willful neglect of duty by a public official.

Parlovecchio is charged with one count of willful neglect of duty by a public official.

Construction stopped months ago because the project at Gratiot and Madison was wildly over budget — $91 million past the $300 million estimate.