Latest defendants in widespread corruption scandal involving elected officials and others in Macomb County wants to ban FBI agent from speaking to jurors about former Detroit-area politicians disgraced by the approach of his corruption trial.
Lawyers for Jay Schwartz, a lawyer accused of plotting to bribe a Township in Clinton, ask a federal judge to prevent FBI Special Agent Frank Beeckman from offering “irrelevant and speculative testimony” and other “major cases of public corruption that made headlines”. lawyer investigated.
Beeckman – who has worked as a professor and lecturer on public corruption and criminal procedural issues – should not be allowed to testify about his experience in obtaining high-profile corruption cases from figures such as the former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick and ex-Detroit board member Monica Conyers and Alonzo Bates, defense attorney Gerald Gleeson wrote in a court file.
“Not only do such references from Agent Beeckman threaten to mislead and confuse the jury, but they point to the probable conscience of the news jury in Detroit over the past ten years to suggest that, like the dishonored Kilpatrick, Conyers and Bates, Mr. Schwartz is also worthy of belief, âGleeson said on the record.
Federal prosecutors have yet to respond to the request to exclude evidence. US District Judge Robert H. Cleland has yet to rule on the petition.
Schwartz, 55, of Northville is accused of bribing Dean Reynolds, a Clinton Township administrator, with free money and legal services, and helping cover up the bribes. The bribery plot unfolded from 2014 to 2016, when former trash hauler Charles Rizzo attempted to land and maintain an $ 18 million trash haulage contract in Clinton Township.
Schwartz previously worked as a business lawyer for the former Rizzo Environmental Services. He was charged in July 2019 with bribing and attempting to bribe Reynolds with $ 50,000 in legal and cash services related to the company’s contract with Clinton Township. If convicted, Schwartz could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Beeckman was the FBI’s lead investigator in the Reynolds case. During the trial, he said he expected Schwartz to be charged. Beeckman also commented on his success in sending Kilpatrick, Conyers and Bates to jail while testifying before a federal grand jury that indicted Schwartz with bribery and bribery charges.
Schwartz’s voice was picked up during an FBI wiretap targeting Rizzo and several elected officials and business leaders in the region, including former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, who is also awaiting trial in an extortion case.
To date, the federal government has secured the convictions of more than 20 people, including former Morocco ally Dino Bucci and towing titan Gasper Fiore in a corruption investigation that has resulted in most jails.
The wiretap recorded Reynolds and his friend Angelo Selva talking in July 2015. The duo discussed the provision of free legal services by Rizzo and Schwartz in return for help with a garbage contract in the Clinton Township, according to the indictment.
Later in the summer of 2015, FBI agents were listening to a wiretap on Rizzo’s phone when they heard Schwartz tell Rizzo he had to pay $ 5,000 for expenses related to Reynolds’ divorce, according to the ‘indictment. Schwartz suggested the payment be disguised as a loan to a third party, prosecutors said.
In September 2015, Schwartz reportedly sent a blank promissory note to Reynolds that was used to cover up Rizzo’s bribe payments.
Reynolds is serving a 17-year prison sentence.
No trial date has been set for the Schwartz case, which will be heard in the US District Court for St. Clair County.