Detroit towing titan Gasper Fiore indicted in Macomb Co. corruption probe

DETROIT (WXYZ) - One of the key figures in Wednesday’s Macomb County corruption probe indictment is no stranger to controversy.  Gasper Fiore is a long-time city of Detroit towing contractor who once played a high-profile role in the city hall corruption probe.

Fiore made his fortune with towing and building lease deals with the Detroit Police Department.  In the past, his competitors protested how Fiore, with his Boulevard & Trumbull Towing, Inc., was able to get multiple city contracts by buying other tow companies that already had deals with Detroit Police.

“Why one person should make millions, since it’s a million-dollar industry, while everybody else is going under… it’s not fair,” Phyllis Hernandez, owner of Casino Towing, told the 7 Investigators back in 2012.  “It’s in your face corruption.”

Now the feds say Fiore is facing bribery charges for trying to get a towing contract in Clinton Township.

Federal Prosecutors say the 56-year-old from Grosse Pointe Shores bribed former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds on two occasions:  first with a $4,000 cash bribe in March of 2016, and then with another $3,000 cash bribe a few months later.

According to the indictment revealed Wednesday, Fiore paid those bribes to the Trustee through Charles B. Rizzo, the former CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services.  Rizzo is now facing a slew of federal charges, as well.

The feds say Fiore is also charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as part of this wide-ranging Macomb County FBI probe.

Fiore became a central figure in another famous corruption case: he’s the witness who was once represented by Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer in front of the federal grand jury.  That potential conflict of interest became the focus of the former Detroit mayor’s attempts to get a new lawyer just days before his federal RICO trial started back in 2012.  The feds ended up dropping that part of the case, but according to the indictment Kilpatrick was accused of extorting about $90,000 from Fiore.  Kilpatrick is now serving a 28 year sentence in federal prison.

So far, Gasper Fiore’s lawyer is not commenting on the federal charges.

Fiore’s Boulevard & Trumbull towing does still have a contract with Detroit Police, but because this is just a charge and not a conviction, so far he is staying in the Detroit Police towing rotation.

Fiore also has a $5 million contract with MDOT to provide the MDOT Courtesy Shuttles you see along area freeways.  The current contract lasts until October of 2019.  MDOT officials say that contract is in the name of Jennifer Fiore, Gasper Fiore's daughter.

Fiore used to have towing contracts with the U.S. Marshals as well.

If he’s convicted of the bribery charges, Fiore faces up to 10 years in prison, and the mail and wire fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

If you have a story for Heather, please email her at hcatallo@wxyz.com or call 248-827-4473.

 

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