More Macomb County officials plead guilty to corruption

Image 1 of 6

New developments in the Macomb County corruption case as two former public officials pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in a pay-to-play scheme.

Both pleaded guilty to taking bribes, one is cooperating with federal investigators and one has clammed up. Neither one would speak to FOX 2 to talk about their deal.

Former Chesterfield Township supervisor Michael Lovelock isn't talking, but his lawyer is.

"He made a mistake," his attorney Jerome Sabbota said.

Lovelock is facing three to four years in prison after pleading guilty to take $30,000 in bribes. Lovelock helped Rizzo Environmental Services get a five year garbage hauling contract worth $18 million.

"I'm not saying it wasn't wrong," Sabbota said. "I am saying people sometimes have issues that cause them to do things that they would not normally do."

The attorney says Lovelock's health was a factor in his decision, but he will tell more about that at the sentencing this fall.

Former Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitus pleaded guilty for failing to service two masters. Freitus worked for Rizzo while serving as a trustee. 

He admitted to giving Rizzo inside information on contract bid prices in return for a $7,500 loan he would have not to repay.

Unlike Lovelock, Freitus agreed to cooperate with the feds including testifying if necessary.

"My client did what he needed to do that was in his own best interest," said Daniel Garon, his attorney. "And I think at the end of the day it was a smart and honest decision for him to make."

Prosecutors agreed to recommend two and a half years in prison for him but the final decision is up to the judge. They are scheduled to return to federal court on Oct. 5th when they will be sentenced.