A local mother who had a promising career threw it all away for a smooth-talking political consultant in Detroit who was having his every moved watched by the FBI.
Wendalyn Greene ducked Local 4 Defender cameras, but her story intertwines with Sam Riddle.
Remember that name? He was a defiant political consultant who made headlines when he became embroiled in a federal corruption investigation.
He was accused of taking bribes to swing deals with former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers.
Greene was a highly trusted member of the U.S. Attorney’s special crimes unit. She worked as a paralegal, which required a high level of security clearance along with access to evidence the FBI and prosecutors were gathering against Riddle and others.
Former federal prosecutor and Wayne State University professor Peter Henning said anyone who is hired into the U.S. Attorney’s Office would have to undergo a background check to determine if they’ve had any previous run-ins with the law.
Previously to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Greene was in the army and earned the rank of sergeant and was awarded ribbons, badges and medals for everything from sharp shooting to good conduct to national defense service.
From the outside, she looked like the kind of person that could be trusted with the grand jury secrets of one of the biggest public corruption investigations in the history of metro Detroit.
Retired FBI agent John Anthony said what Greene did with the trust that was given to her is unconceivable.
Greene leaked confidential and sensitive grand jury testimony to Riddle. The feds knew because they were recording all of Riddle’s phone calls. Imagine their surprise when on of their own team member’s voices popped up, giving away the prosecutor’s game plan.
Riddle eventually pleaded guilty and is serving out a three-year prison sentence. He’s due to be released in May 2013.
But Greene was given only probation and a $2,000 fine.
Because Greene worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, the case was handled by prosecutors in west Michigan.