Indictment claims Detroit Councilman Andre Spivey took $35K in bribes

Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey was indicted in federal court on Wednesday over allegations that he accepted more than $35,000 in bribe payments in connection with his role as a councilman.

According to the federal indictment obtained by FOX 2, Spivey and another public official (identified in records as ‘Public Official A’) accepted the bribe payments between 2016 and 2020. The indictment was not specific about the alleged bribes or what Spivey was allegedly agreeing to do upon receiving the money. 

The indictment states that Spivey took the bribes with the intent of being influenced and rewarded in connection to upcoming votes on the Detroit City Council and in subcommittees of the council concerning an industry that was under review by the council.

The indictment also states that in each of the years of the alleged conspiracy, Detroit received $10,000 in federal assistance.

Additionally, the indictment states that Spivey accepted a $1,000 cash bribe from an undercover agent in October of 2018. 

Spivey's attorney, Elliott Hall, said that his client has been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office for 15 months to try to resolve the allegations. He maintains his innocence and said that Spivey received money that the federal government "considers to be a bribe" but that Spivey did not accept the money in exchange for a vote or dealings with the city.

Hall said Spivey accepted money but wouldn't call it a bribe.

"Mr. Spivey never accepted any money because he did an official act, for instance, voting on a piece of legislation because he received money," said attorney Elliott Hall. "Or performing an official act in his capacity as a councilman, because he received money."

FOX 2: "You concede he did receive money?"

"But not in his capacity as a public official," Hall said.

Detroit Councilman Andre Spivey was accused of accepting more than $35,000 in bribes between 2016 and 2020 along with a staff member the feds are calling "Public Official A."

FOX 2: "Who is public official A?"

"Well, listen the US Attorney's Office will disclose who that is," Hall said. "I am not at liberty to do that."

FOX 2: "What did he intend to use this more than $35,000 for?"

"He did borrow a big piece of the money and he paid some of the money back," Hall said.

Federal documents make it clear their investigators believe Spivey accepted to money to quote "be influenced and rewarded in connection with upcoming votes on the Detroit City Council and in subcommittees."

And they want Spivey to pay every dime of the money back.

FOX 2: "Are you at liberty to say where these bribes came from?"

"No I cannot," said Hall.

FOX 2: "Can you tell me the number of parties involved?"

"No I cannot do that," said Hall.

Federal prosecutors were very specific about one allegation from October of 2018 where they claim Spivey was caught red-handed, alleging he took $1,000 in cash from an undercover agent.

"You don't have to do an official act to receive money," Hall said. "Just being a public official and have someone give you money, can bring you under this statute and under an indictment and punishment."