Coleman Young calls for special prosecutor in Detroit demolition investigation

- Among news of subpoenas issued in the ongoing Detroit demo program investigation, current Mayor Mike Duggan's main challenger in the race for Detroit mayor is calling for a special prosecutor.

During a press conference Monday, Detroit Sen. Coleman A. Young II issued a statement regarding the federal investigation surrounding his rival's demolition program.

A grand jury is looking into allegations of corruption involving Detroit's demolition program, including bid rigging, secret meetings with preferred contractors, questions of the quality and origin of the dirt used and price sawing or taking money from one project and adding to another.

FOX 2 reported last week that subpoenas have been issued to multiple contractors and city agencies.

Subpoenaing information for the grand jury is just a legal means of getting information that a contractor may not willingly give up.

Following this news, Coleman Young held a presser Monday saying that the investigation won't be done honestly and with integrity unless there is a special prosecutor.

"Duggan's relationship with the eastern district corrupts the investigation into the demolition program and establishes the grounds for the appointment of a special prosecutor," he said.

Coleman Young says the FBI is investigating whether criminal activity existed in the unauthorized pre-bid meeting that gave unfair advantage to the three preferred contractors and whether they were paid for work that was not done -- "that is wire fraud."

UPDATE, 3:20 P.M.: Alexis Wiley, Duggan's chief of staff, issued a response to Coleman Young's presser Monday:

"This is just another example of Coleman Young bashing the mayor instead of offering a plan for Detroit. If he actually presented a plan for the future of the city, that would be big news."

The state looked into the Detroit Land Bank's practices, and discovered irregularities in the bidding process, in billing and in the overall quality.

Duggan: 'Very disappointed' at some Land Bank demo procedures

In October 2017, FOX 2 reported that Duggan admitted there were major problems with the program.

"The Land Bank did not have sufficient procedures in place to make sure we had proper documentation for all the bills and didn't have sufficient controls to assure treasury would not be charged for ineligible expenses," he said.

He then announced the program would receive $42 million in federal money and more oversight.

Back in November 2016,  federal agents came to the Guardian Building looking for records, hard drives and anything else that the land bank might have in connection with the program accused of fraud.

Feds take records from Detroit demo program for investigation

In October 2016, the Detroit Land Bank board released details of an internal demolition investigation, saying federal money was mismanaged and that some is even unaccounted for.

Detroit Land Bank finds $1 million of federal funds misused

In total, the investigation found $1 million was misused, CLICK HERE to read how that breaks down.

 

For previous reports by the Americans with Charlie LeDuff on the Detroit’s demolition:

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