Feds slam Detroit Councilman Andre Spivey for lying about corruption

Detroit – Federal prosecutors on Friday criticized former Detroit city councilor André Spivey for misleading a federal judge into cooperating in an ongoing corruption investigation, revealing the politician repeatedly lied to federal agents and failed a polygraph test.

U.S. assistant attorneys David Gardey and Frances Carlson wrote a rare nine-page reprimand about Spivey’s attempt to evade prison for taking nearly $ 36,000 in bribes from an unidentified tow officer. When Spivey asked U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts for indulgence on Tuesday, Spivey claimed he was helping the government’s ongoing investigation.

“Instead of cooperating, however, Spivey repeatedly obstructed and lied during his debriefings with FBI agents and prosecutors,” the prosecutors wrote. “Spivey lied when he denied taking bribes from fellow Detroit businessmen. In fact, on October 22, 2020, Spivey failed a polygraph exam on whether he had taken bribes from a certain Detroit business owner whose affairs were before the city council were pending. ” . “

Prosecutors want Spivey to spend 40 months in federal prison and have portrayed him as a greedy hypocrite who received bribes from a towing industry official on eight separate occasions over a period from five years to 2020 – a “confidential source,” CS for short. sought favors and tried to buy the city council’s vote.

Spivey, 47, viewed the source as a friend and blamed his willingness to accept bribes to a series of financial problems which, according to his attorney Elliott Hall, led him to seek “loans” from friends and co-workers.

Spivey is sentenced on Jan. 19, four months after pleading guilty to federal bribery charges and admitting that he and an unnamed aide received nearly $ 36,000 in bribes. The Detroit News identified the adviser as his chief of staff, Keith Jones.

Spivey resigned after pleading guilty – politicians convicted of corruption-related crime are banned from holding state or local office – and his conviction was the second vacancy on the city’s governing body last year, since councilor Gabe Leland resigned in May after pleading guilty to state misconduct charges.

Spivey is the highest ranking person convicted in an ongoing crackdown on public corruption within the city government and police in connection with the city’s towing services. Five people have been charged with criminal offenses and others are being investigated as part of a wider hunt for evidence of bribes, extorted contractors, or illegal benefits channeled through nonprofits.

This investigation includes former Alderman Janeé Ayers and Alderman Scott Benson. Their homes and offices were searched by FBI agents in August as part of Operation Northern Hook, which also raided the homes of their chiefs of staff.

The government filing on Friday is recording Spivey’s deception.

He met repeatedly with federal officials during the investigation and, according to prosecutors, “strongly denied receiving bribes” even though the bribes were recorded on hidden recording devices.

In hopes of resolving the conflict, Spivey underwent a polygraph examination. He denied receiving bribes from the unknown businessman.

“After being told he had failed the exam, Spivey changed his story, stating that there may have been cases where he had received bribes from the ‘business owner’,” prosecutors wrote. “However, Spivey did not want to give any details about these bribes. In a subsequent interview, Spivey again denied having received bribes from this person. “

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