Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland proclaims innocence in bribery case

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 19:00:07-04

Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland had his first federal court appearance after being indicted on charges of Bribery and Bribery Conspiracy.  

He’s facing up to ten years in prison for allegedly accepting $7,500.

Defense Attorney Steve Fishman said outside of court that his client would not speak saying, “I’m telling you he’s not answering any questions and I’m hoping everyone is going to behave.”  

Fishman doubled down adding, “I’m telling you if I represent you, I’m telling you either I talk, or you go get somebody else.”  

Minutes later both walked out of federal court with Leland saying, “I’m innocent, and I’m looking forward to trial.  That’s my comment.”

While the feds don’t spell out details in the case, we know that Detroit Businessman Bob Carmack filed a lawsuit.

The suit alleges that in 2017, before Leland was reelected to the City Council, he offered to help the businessman save his building on Michigan Avenue.

Carmack spelled out that he wore a wire for the FBI, a campaign worker picked up $7,500, Leland received the money and told Carmack he could do what he wanted with the building.  

Fishman says Carmack, “put a device on himself."  

Fishman continued, “I’m saying that there was no bribery.  Most cases over here, 95% result in guilty pleas. This one won’t.”   

The case has been assigned to Judge Judith Levy which means the trial will be held in Ann Arbor, likely sometime next year.