DETROIT (WXYZ) - As the federal government prepares for the historic city hall corruption trial, the FBI has a new leader in town.
7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo sat down with Detroit’s newest FBI Special Agent in Charge, who says he’s determined to keep public corruption investigations a top priority.
There are at least two major investigations already in full force here in Detroit that have been very public: the Kilpatrick Enterprise case, and the Wayne County corruption probe.
Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley says he couldn’t wait to get to Michigan, and he’s ready for the challenge of keeping all the investigations in Detroit on track.
“I’m happy to be here,” said Foley. “All of my background, investigations, and assignments, I think, have brought me to this point, so it’s very exciting.”
SAC Foley has been with the FBI since 1996, and he’s no stranger to public corruption investigations, which have dominated the headlines in Detroit in recent years. He spent about four years in San Juan, Puerto Rico where he helped bust corrupt cops in one of the FBI’s largest police corruption cases.
“For public servants who violate the trust of the people who put them in positions that they’re in, to use those scarce resources to line their own pockets, is something that just can’t be tolerated,” said Foley.
SAC Foley also worked in the Public Corruption Unit at FBI Headquarters.
“I do have both a background in it, and a passion for it. As an attorney, and just as a taxpayer, not only is it illegal, but it's offensive,” said Foley.
As the FBI agents and federal prosecutors who have been toiling for years -- building their case against Kwame Kilpatrick and the alleged “Kilpatrick Enterprise” prepare for that historic trial -- Foley is quick to point out that nothing has changed during the transition of leadership in the Detroit Division.
“The work is getting done, it’s been getting done,” said Foley.
“How important is a conviction in this Kilpatrick case for the FBI,” asked Catallo.
“As important as a conviction would be in any corruption investigation… The allegations, we believe in them and we’re sure that the U. S. Attorney’s office will advance the case in the direction it needs to go,” said Foley.
Foley has a lot of counter-terrorism experience as well, and says that remains the top priority for the FBI.
He also says when Detroit’s former Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena announced his retirement so that he could head the Detroit Crime Commission, Foley jumped at the chance to come to Michigan for the first time.
“I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to help the citizens of the city of Detroit, and the state of Michigan,” said Foley.
Another big focus for the new Special Agent in Charge will be community outreach. Foley says he really wants to get to know all of the leaders in our very diverse region.
The SAC is originally from Massachusetts, and served six years as an aviator in the U. S. Army.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More from The Investigators
The Scripps News investigative team uncovered 170,000 records containing personal information like social security numbers, birth dates, social security cards, drivers licenses and food stamp cards.
While looking into companies participating in the program, The Scripps News investigative team discovered more than 170,000 records posted online listing sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, home addresses and financial accounts of customers and applicants of Lifeline.
In Wayne County, scores of convicted felons guilty of dangerous crimes are being given what critics say is a get out of jail free card. Are the judges letting them out violating Michigan's penal code?