Macomb County Corruption: How the feds flipped the Rizzos, getting a plea deal

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 12, 2017

The rise and fall of the father and son could be close. Chuck Rizzo Senior and Junior are expected to plead guilty next month in a case that says they paid bribes to grow their trash hauling business beyond expectations.  

The feds used the same techniques as in the corruption case against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. 

The Rizzos were caught, cooperated and then turned by the feds when they found out they were still likely going to prison. 

They were hit with more charges in June facing a huge 20 years in prison. Now they’re cutting a plea deal. The terms have not been made public. 

The Rizzo case led the feds to charge several elected officials taking bribes.

Former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade in Detroit said earlier to 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner, “(Elected officials) are the ones who have pledged public trust to the ones who have elected them. They’ve pleaded to serve and provide honest services.”

In 2011, Rizzo had contracts in 20 Metro Detroit Communities. Last year, 55.   

They include Detroit, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Livonia, Hamtramck and Fraser. In 4 communities guilty pleas have resulted from some elected officials in New Haven, Macomb Township, Chesterfield Township, and Clinton Township.

In Clinton Township, Rizzo had a 3 year contract be extended to 18 years with no bid. 

Trustee Dean Reynolds was allegedly paid $50,000 to $70,000 in bribes and given a paid divorce attorney.  His case is still pending.

The feds flipped Chuck Rizzo as the bagman paying bribes and techniques included telephone wiretaps, audio and video recordings, undercover FBI agents and physical evidence.

McQuade told Kiertzner, “When we can obtain recorded conversations, videotape conversations that makes excellent evidence. So if we have a cooperator who can provide that kind of evidence that is a tried and true technique.”

The Rizzo plea deal is scheduled for Federal Court on November 9.