36ºF

Detroit towing scandal: Former police deputy chief sentenced for taking bribes

Celia Washington sentenced to 1 year and 1 day behind bars

DETROIT – Former deputy police chief Celia Washington was sentenced Wednesday for her role in a corruption scandal involving towing permits in Detroit.

Washington pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy in January. She was sentenced to one year and one day behind bars.

The charges stem from a wide-ranging corruption investigation centered in Macomb County. Investigators learned Washington took kickbacks from Detroit towing magnate Gasper Fiore, and in return, she would give his company priority on towing runs.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Former Detroit police Deputy Chief Celia Washington indicted in towing scandal

Washington's responsibilities while serving as the deputy police chief and the legal advisor to the chief of police included overseeing the Detroit Police Department's permitting, licensing and use of private towing companies.

Court documents alleged she took a $3,000 cash bribe from Fiore in exchange for using her official position to assist with towing permits and rotation placement.

Fiore pleaded guilty to bribing Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds in connection with a separate towing contract.

RELATED: Towing magnate Gasper Fiore pleads guilty in Macomb County corruption scandal

At a plea hearing in January, Washington and her attorney were adamant she had done nothing wrong. Washington attempted to plead guilty but told the judge she maintained her innocence. The judge wouldn't except her plea and a recess was called. 

Court resumed and Washington admitted guilt before the judge accepted her guilty plea.

Washington resigned from her job with the Detroit Police Department in June. 


About the Authors: