Former Clinton Twp official gets 17 years for taking $150K in bribes

A suburban Detroit official convicted of corruption for taking bribes has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Dean Reynolds, a former trustee in Macomb County's Clinton Township, also was ordered to pay $15,000 in fines during his sentencing Wednesday on four counts of bribery conspiracy and 10 counts of accepting bribes in connection with millions of dollars in township garbage, towing, and engineering contracts.

"Very disappoitned in this sentence," said defense attorney Richard Korn. "In view of all the circumstances, it was an extremely severe and unreasonable sentence."

Reynolds did not speak during his sentencing.

"He feels so bad about everything that happened in this case and the impact on his son and his family. It's just a tragedy. The whole thing is a tragedy."

It took jurors only about an hour last June to convict the 51-year-old Reynolds in Port Huron federal court. U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says evidence showed Reynolds demanded and took over $150,000 in bribes in separate bribery conspiracies involving four different government contracts. 

Reynolds is the only person who has stood trial in a wide-ranging corruption scandal. His was the 17th conviction.

Prosecutors asked the judge to give him more than 24 years in prison, comparing his dastardly deeds to those of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland was not convinced, but faulted Reynolds for betraying the public, undermining democracy and seeming to take no responsibility for his actions.

Reynolds was the first official charged in the feds' investigation of public corruption in Macomb County. 

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.