Ex-Wayne County IT boss gets prison time for accepting bribes

Tahir Kazmi sentenced to 57 months in prison for accepting bribes

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

DETROIT - A former top official in Wayne County has been sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to accepting bribes.

Tahir Kazmi, the county's former chief of technology under Executive Robert Ficano, pressured a county vendor to lie to FBI agents during their investigation into possible county government, according to prosecutors.

He entered his guilty plea in 2012. He agreed to cooperate with an investigation and testify, hoping to get his prison time get cut down at his sentencing.

In addition to the prison time, Kazmi has to forfeit $15,100.

In his plea, he admitted that between 2009 and 2011 he accepted bribes from a private contractor in the form of cash, trips to Hawaii, Turkey, and Florida, and other things of value all totaling approximately $70,000. The private contractor who paid the bribes to Kazmi had multi-million dollar technology contracts with Wayne County.

Another person in Kazmi's department, Zayd Allebban, who was the county's director of enterprise application, was also charged with obstruction of justice. He was found guilty and has been sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Under FBI supervision, an un-named contractor began recording a series of conversation with Kazmi and Allebban with a hidden recording device.

In a meeting earlier this year outside a bagel shop in Farmington Hills, Kazmi is recorded saying, " You're not sitting here on behalf of somebody?" The contractor says, "No." Kazmi goes on to say, "Because the only way I can go down is this conversation."

As chief of technology, Kazmi supervised all employees in the department and had specialized knowledge of computers. 

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