Head of Rizzo Environmental Services resigns amid federal probe in Macomb County

Trash pickup contractor at center of federal investigation

Chuck Rizzo Jr. announced his resignation Tuesday from Rizzo Environmental Services amid a federal investigation and corruption charges against public officials in Macomb County.

Local 4 first broke the story that Rizzo Environmental Services had been cooperating with the federal investigators for months as they probed politicians who are alleged to have been shaking businesses down for cash and favors.

Rizzo Environmental Services recently was purchased by GFL Environmental, Inc., whose president and CEO Patrick Dovigi released this statement Tuesday afternoon: 

The allegations surrounding Rizzo Environmental’s potential involvement in the FBI’s investigation were first brought to our attention following local press reports which speculated that a principal at Rizzo had made cash payments to Dean Reynolds in connection with a Clinton Township contract. These allegations, which reportedly occurred in late 2012 through 2015, predate GFL’s acquisition of Rizzo last month. We had no prior knowledge of the FBI’s investigation or the allegations associated with elected officials in Macomb County, Michigan.

Upon learning of the situation, we immediately began the process of conducting our own internal investigation to better understand the facts. While our review is ongoing, the allegations that have been presented in two Federal criminal complaints are completely counter to the way we that GFL does business. Adhering to the highest ethical policies and conducting our business with the utmost integrity are among GFL's most important priorities. We are outraged by the allegations that have been reported and have zero tolerance for employee misconduct or unprofessional behavior.

Therefore, in the best interests of the company and our customers, Chuck Rizzo, Jr. has resigned, effective immediately. I will oversee Rizzo’s business on an interim basis until further notice.

We are committed to providing the highest quality waste collection and recycling services to commercial, municipal and industrial customers while following only the highest legal and ethical standards.

READ: Business cooperating with FBI in Macomb County corruption case

Dovigi went on the offensive Tuesday night. Rizzo had won the garbage contract in Dearborn Heights by being the low bidder. The contract was up for a final vote and the city council was leery.

Dovigi answered questions for an hour and made a guarantee to the city that if it wasn't satisfied with the service after six months, Dearborn Heights could terminate the contract. By a 4-2 vote, Rizzo won the contract, although in short order, the company's trucks will be rebranded with its new parent company's logo.

Rizzo has contracts for trash pickup service with several Metro Detroit municipalities. Metro Detroiters likely have seen the company's red garbage trucks around town, if not in front of their own home. 

Meanwhile, Clinton Township trustee Dean Reynolds, 49, of Clinton Township, faces charges of demanding and accepting money and other things of value in exchange for official acts as a trustee. Reynolds is running for Clinton Township supervisor against Republican incumbent Robert Cannon.

READ: Clinton Township trustee taken into federal custody on bribery charges

Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas was in court Tuesday morning on charges of demanding and accepting money in exchange for official acts as a trustee. Also in Macomb Township, trustee Dino Bucci is facing an extortion lawsuit from Gianna Investments LLC.

READ: Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitas faces bribery charges
READ: Macomb Township trustee Dino Bucci accused of extortion

Watch previous report: 

About the Authors: