State police drop extortion investigation of businessman

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Businessman Bob Carmack is headed to court next week on fraud charges stemming from a city land deal in Detroit.

But, at least for now, he doesn't have to worry about extortion charges lobbed at him by Mayor Mike Duggan.

"I have asked the state police to open an investigation into the threats made," said Duggan, back on Nov. 26.

That same day Michigan State Police opened an investigation into possible extortion by Carmack.

The mayor became concerned about Bob Carmack more than a week after Carmack rented a mobile billboard and played a video that he claims shows Duggan driving his city car to visit a woman Carmack believes is a mistress.

Carmack made the controversial move after he became frustrated that judges would not allow him to question the mayor under oath in any of the lawsuits between Carmack and the city.

The political stunt came on Nov. 14 downtown, where the mobile billboard circled City Hall.

Elrick: "What does possibly cheating on his spouse have to do with being a corrupt politician?"

"Well if he is cheating on his wife maybe he is cheating on the people of Detroit," Carmack said at the time. "Maybe he is doing things that aren't proper with the city, with the financers, with tax credits and so forth."

A state police report I obtained using the Michigan Freedom of Information Act shows that troopers interviewed the mayor, his chief of staff Alexis Wiley, and Lawrence Garcia, the head of the city's law department.

Garcia told investigators that before Carmack showed the video, Carmack told Garcia: "You better make me happy or I'm going to drop a bomb."
Garcia believes the video was that bomb, and that his purpose was to "Shake up the mayor."

Instead, the mayor held the news conference calling for a state police investigation and promised Detroiters that while embarrassing information may come out that would hurt his family, he would always put Detroiters first. 

More coverage:

Duggan asks police to investigate businessesman's threats

Carmack accused of selling Detroit land he didn't own to out-of-state developer

It does not appear that the state police interviewed anyone else. The report concluded that the investigation is closed and will be reopened if additional information is learned.

Carmack said he did not extort anyone. I contacted the mayor's office but they declined comment.