Former Clinton Township trustee Reynolds sentenced to 17 years in prison for bribery

Dean Reynolds (WDIV)
Dean Reynolds (WDIV)

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for his criminal convictions in connection with millions of dollars in township garbage, towing, and engineering contracts.

Reynolds, 51, also has been ordered to pay $15,000 in fines based on his convictions at trial on four counts of bribery conspiracy and 10 counts of accepting bribes, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced Wednesday.

Reynolds was indicted in 2016 for accepting bribes from trash hauling company Rizzo Environmental Services in return for his influence in giving Rizzo lucrative contracts from the township. The indictment said Reynolds accepted bribes worth more than $50,000.

From Schneider's office:

During the trial of this matter, the evidence showed that Reynolds demanded and took over $150,000 in bribes in four separate bribery conspiracies involving four different government contracts. The bribes included over $75,000 in cash, $50,000 in free legal services for Reynolds’ divorce, and an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World, including an eight-night stay in a deluxe-level room costing over $600 per night. The jury found that Reynolds demanded bribes in connection with the Clinton Township garbage-hauling contract worth over $16 million, the township engineering contract worth over $500,000 per year, and the township towing contract.

In addition, the jury convicted Reynolds of conspiring to pay bribes to former New Haven, Michigan Trustee Brett Harris and to corrupt the garbage contract for New Haven. Reynolds was convicted of taking multiple bribes from convicted garbage executive Chuck Rizzo, from Paulin Modi, a former managing partner of Giffels Webster Engineering, who was also convicted of bribery, and from Gasper Fiore, the owner of multiple towing companies in southeast Michigan, who was also previously convicted of bribery conspiracy.

Investigators say Reynolds lied about having cancer to be released from jail

Federal investigators said former Clinton Township trustee Dean Reynolds was so desperate to be released from jail, he told the court he was suffering from kidney cancer and his mother was in hospice.

Investigators listened in on phone calls Reynolds was making from jail -- not to his attorney, but to others -- and they said Reynolds made up the cancer and dying mother stories.

Investigators found Reynold did have a cancer scare in 2016 and had a biopsy done on his kidney. Doctors gave him the all-clear. 

In the phone calls investigators listened to, Reynolds urged his wife and father to get a letter from his doctor claiming he had cancer. The investigators said Reynold's father had received a letter from his doctor saying he showed no evidence of cancer. 

Reynolds allegedly told his father to throw the letter away.

Watch a Local 4 report on Reynolds' corruption last year:

About the Author: