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Two New Haven officials charged in connection with Macomb County Corruption probe

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 10:31:00-05

The feds have charged two more local officials in Macomb County with taking thousands of dollars in bribes to approve a trash-hauling contract.

This makes the total five charged so far in what the feds call systemic corruption.

They have not yet shown up to court.  We are told that will happen next week.

These two are allegedly joined at the wallet with one official charged here last year.

Dean Reynolds of Clinton Township was allegedly paid $17,000 in bribes by an undercover FBI agent.

But his case goes much deeper.

According to federal court documents, he was paid between $50,000 and $70,000 from a company official with Rizzo Environmental to get a trash contract in Clinton Township.

It’s also alleged they paid for Reynolds’ divorce and bankruptcy attorneys.

Reynolds allegedly wanted to share the wealth and unwittingly introduced the undercover FBI agent to officials in New Haven, where another Rizzo trash contract was up for a vote.

The feds are now alleging Brett Harris met with that undercover FBI agent who was posing as a company official last spring and paid multiple cash bribes - a total of $11,000.

Harris allegedly brought in a fellow trustee Christopher Craigmiles. He also met with that undercover FBIU agent posing as a company official and he was allegedly paid one cash bribe of $5,000.

At the same time, former Macomb Township Trustee Cliff Freitas was set to be in court tomorrow, but has postponed his case again - court documents say to work on a possible plea deal.

That could make Frietas a star witness for more charges against more people.

The sentence for bribery is ten years in prison if convicted.

Frietas also worked for Rizzo and the company never said what he did.

His defense attorney would only say today, they’re taking more time to see all the evidence the feds have.

Rizzo was sold to new owners last year, Green For Life out of Canada.

They issued the following statement: 

GFL Environmental USA Inc. does not currently contract waste hauling services for the Village of New Haven. Rizzo Environmental Services last served that municipality in October 2014 until the contract was awarded to another company after a competitive bidding process.

Per the press release issued today by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, criminal complaints were filed as a result of an undercover investigation. No past or present employee of GFL Environmental USA Inc. is referred to in the charging documents and none were involved in the alleged incidents.

GFL Environmental USA