2 officials plead guilty in Macomb County bribery scandal
Trustees sentenced to prison in bribery scandal
DETROIT – Two officials who were caught up in the Macomb County bribery scandal are heading to prison after they admitted Monday in court to wrongdoing.
Bribes proved too tempting for public officials in Macomb County. Two of New Haven's trustees were sentenced to jail time at federal court in downtown Detroit.
Christopher Craigmiles, 43, of Lenox Township, left the courthouse Monday after pleading guilty to one count of federal program bribery. Officials have video of him taking an envelope containing $5,000 cash from an FBI undercover officer.
Craigmiles' attorney, David Nacht, said Craigmiles took the job as a trustee not really knowing anything about politics and found himself in a meeting at a garage last year.
"He accepted an envelope," Nacht said. "He shouldn't have taken that envelope. He now knows he shouldn't have taken the envelope. He will now serve whatever time he must."
Former New Haven trustee Brett Harris, 57, also pleaded guilty.
Harris admitted to taking roughly $11,000 on four different occasions as New Haven was looking to contract for its trash hauling services from the Rizzo trash hauling company, which has been sold off
Harris' sentencing recommendation is between 33 and 41 months in prison.
Nacht said it was Harris who brought Craigmiles to the ill-fated meeting.
"His level of regret is off the charts," Nacht said. "He's a former transit officer who is a family man. He's been married to his longtime sweetheart for years. He's raised kids. He's been a coach in the community. He has no history in politics."
Craigmiles and Harris pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. Craigmiles is expected to serve roughly two years in federal prison, but both men agreed to cooperate with federal government officials to help them make their case against others involved, which means they might serve lesser sentences.
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