First trial in Wayne County corruption probe to begin Tuesday
5:22 PM, Feb 4, 2013
6:29 AM, Feb 6, 2013
DETROIT (WXYZ) - The first trial connected to the ongoing Wayne County corruption probe begins tomorrow in federal court.
Zayd Allebban is a former Robert Ficano appointee, charged with obstruction of justice and falsifying records related into the feds probe into the county's information technology department.
The feds launched their probe into the county following a series of reports from the 7 Action News Investigators.
Federal prosecutors say Allebban's former information technology chief Tahir Kazmi organized a kickback scheme that netted him $70,000 in payoffs from a county contractor. When Kazmi knew he was caught, the U.S. attorney says Alleban tried to help him cover his tracks.
Kazmi may be the fed's best witness in this case, but it's unlikely we'll ever hear from him. Early indications are that he'll invoke his fifth amendment rights.
Back in July, Kazmi pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and is cooperating with the feds' probe into Ficano's administration. He's scheduled to be sentenced later on this month.
As for Alleban, his attorney tells 7 Action News that his client is innocent, and he plans to prove it.