Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland accused of extorting food, alcohol from bar

Leland accused of helping former bar owner in exchange for free food, drinks

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DETROIT – Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland is being accused of extortion in a civil lawsuit that was filed in federal court.

The accusation is that Leland offered to help a former bar owner in return for free food and drinks, according to court documents.

The owners of the now-closed Center Park Bar have filed hundreds of documents in federal court. Their allegation is that they were harassed because they're black and were victims of a plot to sell the property out from underneath them to Dennis Archer Jr., the son of the former mayor.

The extortion claims against Leland are the latest filings in the ongoing battle.

Kenneth Bridgewater claims the fix was in by the city of Detroit, the Detroit Fire Department and Leland.

In a federal lawsuit -- just one of hundreds of filings in the case -- Bridgewater said Leland came by his bar and offered to help him with his problems with the city.

In return for his help, Leland demanded free food and drinks for himself and another top aide to the tune of several thousand dollars, according to the lawsuit.

Bridgewater claims the property was sold out from under him and he was the victim of harassment by the Fire Department all too close to his bar.

You can watch Mara MacDonald's full story in the video posted above.


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