An elected official from suburban Detroit faces a federal bribery charge, in what is apparently the first prosecution to emerge from a “long-running” investigation into alleged corruption in Macomb County.
Dean Reynolds is a Clinton Township Trustee. He’s accused of taking between $50,000-70,000 in bribes from a businessman who had a contract with the township.
“Reynolds sold his vote on the Board of Trustees in favor of the company’s contract,” which came up for renewal in 2015, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit signed by an agent with the FBI’s Detroit Area Corruption Task Force.
The names of the company and the businessman are not revealed in the documents. But the businessman, identified for now as “Cooperating Human Source 1,” began cooperating with the government in January 2016.
Reynolds had been under FBI surveillance since at least mid-2015. During that time, it became clear that the businessman had provided and was paying for Reynolds’ divorce attorney.
It also became clear that the businessman had been providing to cash to Reynolds for several years, since soon after his company had bid on and won a contract with Clinton Township. That contract was extended and increased in 2015.
The businessman continued paying Reynolds after he began working for the FBI. Reynolds accepted $17,000 in “controlled bribes” from him and another undercover FBI agent during that time. All those transactions were recorded, according to the complaint.
In May, Reynolds received money from the undercover agent — this time, on behalf of a different business dubbed “Company B.” The FBI calls the owner of Company B “the subject of FBI investigations in previous years, based on numerous bribery allegations.”
It’s clear that Reynolds is just the first to be charged as a result of what the FBI calls “an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County.”
“The bribery of Reynolds was useful to this investigation because Reynolds unwittingly led the investigation to other criminal associates who are expected to be prosecuted in the near future,” the FBI agent in charge wrote in an affidavit.
After appearing in a Detroit federal court Thursday, Reynolds was released on a $10,000 personal bond. His next court hearing is set for November 3.