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Current, former New Haven trustees charged with taking bribes

NEW HAVEN, Mich. – U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced corruption charges Thursday against a current trustee and a former trustee of New Haven.

Christopher Craigmiles, 43, of Lenox Township, is charged with engaging in corrupt activity, including demanding and accepting money in exchange for official acts as a Trustee of New Haven.

Brett Harris, 57, of New Haven, is charged with accepting multiple bribes in exchange for a promise to support a future municipal contract for New Have.

The charged against Craigmiles and Harris are part of an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County.

According to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Harris conspired with Craigmiles and former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds to engage in bribery in the summer of 2016 and Reynolds unwittingly introduced Harris to an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a consultant to a company that has contracts with various municipalities in southeast Michigan. Reynolds allegedly told the undercover agent that Harris would be willing to take bribes in exchange for votes.

Reynolds had previously accepted cash bribes from the undercover agent, according to prosecutors. Reynolds is currently charged in a pending federal indictment.

Prosecutors said Harris accepted multiple bribes amounting to $11,000 in cash from the undercover agent. Prosecutors also said that Harris introduced the agent to Craigmiles. The criminal complaint charges Craigmiles with accepting a $5,000 cash bribe from the agent.

“Our elected officials must make decisions based on what is best for the people and our communities, not based on whether they are given cash,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade. “Elected officials who violate the public trust by accepting bribes must be arrested and prosecuted.”

The FBI requests that anyone having information regarding public officials accepting bribes is encouraged to contact the Detroit Division of the FBI at 313-965-2222.