(WXYZ) — A former Macomb Township trustee expected to plead guilty Thursday on public corruption charges.
This comes after his boss was indicted on a slew of extortion charges — in what federal prosecutors call an “obscene abuse of power.”
A federal grand jury indictment, unsealed Wednesday — paints a dark picture of longtime Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, extortion, and attempted extortion. And Thursday, his former underling in county government Dino Bucci — has a plea hearing on corruption charges of his own.
- Fmr. Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco indicted on conspiracy, extortion, attempted extortion charges
Court records show Dino Bucci has been cooperating — as the feds looked into his old boss — longtime former public works commissioner Anthony Marrocco.
Marrocco was indicted Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to commit extortion, two counts of extortion, and one count of attempted extortion — federal prosecutors say for years, Marrocco directed those working for him to pressure builders and contractors into buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tickets to his political fundraisers.
The indictment claims the scheme started in 1994 and lasted until 2016 — and that Marrocco held up building permits and payments to vendors who didn’t play ball.
The charges don’t surprise County Executive Mark Hackel.
“..Many were afraid of him, because he would run people against them. Or wouldn't give people permits to do some of the building for developments they had. And with that being said, no longer are they afraid," said Hackel.
Thursday — Bucci, former Macomb Township trustee, is expected to plead guilty for his alleged role.
He was indicted in 2017, accused of bribery and extortion, among other chargers.
In a statement, Marrocco’s attorney says in part “this was typical politics, not extortion,” and that no one was forced to do anything.
He’s facing up to 20 years behind bars.