Ex-suburban Detroit public works chief to be locked up for 3 months
A longtime public works official in suburban Detroit was sentenced to three months in custody Thursday followed by house arrest for threatening to retaliate against a developer unless he purchased tickets for a political fundraiser.
Roughly two dozen officials and businessmen have been convicted in the federal government's Macomb County corruption investigation, from township leaders to an elected prosecutor.
Anthony Marrocco, 74, was a big catch. He was the powerful head of the public works department for more than 20 years, with broad authority over sewer lines, water and infrastructure in the growing county.
Marrocco's key aide pleaded guilty in 2020. Dino Bucci said he forced contractors to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fatten Marrocco's campaign accounts — or face consequences. Bucci died a year ago.
Defense attorney Steve Fishman argued against a prison sentence, citing Marrocco's age and health. Prosecutors had sought more than a year in prison, saying he had "exercised unchecked power" while in office.
U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland settled on three months in custody and 14 months of home confinement without access to the internet, sports, movies or other entertainment.
Marrocco didn't speak in court.
"Although we are disappointed in the length of the court's sentence, through Marrocco's conviction for extortion he will no longer be able to demand obedience and respect from the district's citizens," U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said.
Marrocco's reign in office ended when then-U.S. Rep. Candice Miller skipped an easy run for re-election and defeated him in the 2016 election.