DETROIT (WJBK) - Embattled Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland is facing federal charges for bribery but said he has no plans of stepping down.
On Tuesday there were fluffy clouds over City Hall but a dark cloud hanging over Gabe Leyland. He came to work today trying to look as natural as possible. That's not an easy thing to do after you've been indicted on bribery charges.
To his credit, Leyland met with reporters during a break at the meeting.
"It's business as usual," Leyland said. "I will be at meetings, I will be responding to constituents as I've been doing the last five and a half years. I will be at the council table. Any resident that has any concerns for that matter please, continue to contact me. Constituents will see me out in the community so I have no concern about that.
"A federal grand jury indicted him last week for allegedly demanding a $15,000 bribe from a Detroit businessman. He had not addressed the charges personally before the first council session held since those charges hit.
ML ELRICK: "Councilman wouldn't it be reassuring for your constituents to hear you say they are not true if they are not true?"
"As you well know, I'm innocent until proven guilty - that's my statement until further notice," Leland said.
ELRICK: "I know attorneys don't like clients to talk. I appreciate that and that's probably good advice you are taking, but they wouldn't tell you to say that the charges were true if they weren't true. what's wrong with saying this is a bunch of bologna if it is a bunch of bologna?"
"So all of those legal questions, you have to approach my attorney on," Leyland said. "I'm innocent until proven guilty. It's business as usual for me. I will be out in the community. responding to community concerns.
"Some people may hear you say that you say you are innocent until proven guilty and think so he's waiting until he's proven guilty. Or they may say why doesn't he just say I'm innocent if I'm innocent? Do you want to clear that up at all?"
"As it relates to this case I will have my comments reserved for my attorney and I hope you can respect that," Leyland said.
Leyland's attorney turned to Motown for inspiration in an email response. "This is old news," he wrote, adding "As The Temptations used to sing, 'The further you look, the less you see.'"
Leyland was scheduled to be arraigned this week but it has been moved to next week. And when the councilman gets to court you know we will be there.