Ex-Ficano aide Tahir Kazmi gets 57 months in prison for bribery

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A former high-ranking aide to Wayne County CEO Robert Ficano was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison today for taking bribes from a county contractor.

Former Chief Information Officer Tahir Kazmi pled guilty in 2012 to accepting $70,000 in bribes, including cash, trips to Turkey, Hawaii and Florida and cell phones for his children.

Today a remorseful Kazmi sobbed before Judge Stephen Murphy, pleading for a lighter sentence.

"I am very ashamed to God, who gave me an opportunity to serve," Kazmi said. "I have caused so much pain to my family. There are a number of people who depend on me, and I feel like I've failed them."

Kazmi's lawyer Laurence Burgess said that his client spent two years cooperating with the government and trying to help its ongoing investigation into Wayne County government.

Over the course of 8 meetings, Burgess said Kazmi produced scores of e-mails on subjects ranging from the controversial Wayne County jail project to campaign donations.

But throughout the process, said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey, Kazmi wasn't forthcoming and sometimes gave information that was not true. As a result, he said, the government did not urge for a lighter sentence.

Kazmi will have to pay a $15,000 fine in addition to his prison time.  He was not taken into custody today.

Contact Investigator Ross Jones at rjones@wxyz.com  or at (248) 827-9466.

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