Clinton Township trustee taken into federal custody on bribery charges

By John Steckroth - Editor

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - FBI agents took an elected trustee of Clinton Township into custody Thursday on federal charges of demanding and taking bribes in exchange for his vote on municipal contracts.

Dean Reynolds, 49, of Clinton Township, is charged with demanding and accepting money and other things of value in exchange for official acts as a trustee. 

Reynolds is running for Clinton Township supervisor as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Robert Cannon.

The arrest is part of an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County, according to authorities. The investigation employed telephone wiretaps, consensual audio and video recordings, undercover operations, physical surveillance, telephone tracking warrants and subpoenas of financial records and other documents.

According to the federal complaint, Reynolds accepted multiple bribes from the representative of a company that was seeking and secured a significant contract with the township in 2012. Authorities said he accepted between $50,000 and $70,000 in cash from the company’s representative.

Reynolds also accepted $17,000 in cash payments from an undercover agent of the FBI, the complaint said.

Reynolds allegedly sold his vote on the Board of Trustees in favor of the company’s contract and provided information about the votes of other trustees.

“Corruption undermines the very nature of representative government,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. “Law enforcement is committed to seeking out and prosecuting corrupt public officials in all areas of the Eastern District, including suburban communities.”

Reynolds faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, if convicted.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force, a multiagency task force led by the FBI Detroit Division and comprised of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Michigan State Police, Michigan Attorney General’s Office and several other local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Reynolds was elected to the Clinton Township Board of Trustees in November 2004. He serves as chairperson of the parks & Recreation Committee and is a member of the Budget, Ways & Means Committee, Sanitary Sewer Committee, Emergency Management Committee and is an alternate for the Personnel Vacancy Review Committee.

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