What the future may hold for Detroit City Council amid towing scandal

Spivey faces up to 5 years in prison

After a chaotic year of scandal for the Detroit City Council, the 2021 General Election could be just as messy.

DETROIT – After a chaotic year of scandal for the Detroit City Council, the 2021 General Election could be just as messy.

There are 16 candidates on the ballot for the council’s nine seats -- five of them are current council members. Scott Benson in District 3 and Mary Sheffield in District 5 are unopposed.

Four seats are wide open after the resignations of former members Gabe Leland and Andre Spivey. Both were forced to give up their seats after pleading guilty in federal court.



The other open two follow Council President Brenda Jones and District 6 councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López’ decision to not run for office.

“As Detroiters, we deserve leaders who lead with integrity, deserve leaders who are honest and transparent and committed to the people,” Castañeda-López said in a video on Facebook. “And I do think that we can continue to improve as a city. The bad actors should be held accountable and that’s what’s happening with the two council members who were charged and resigned from council.”

Then there are two races to pay close attention to. Two current members -- Janee Ayers and Scott Benson -- were recently the targets of raids by the FBI’s Corruption Task Force. Neither have been charged with a crime, but the looming threat could still matter during the election.

We’re also watching the race for mayor, where incumbent Mike Duggan continues to refuse a debate and his challenger, Anthony Anderson, has given up pressing for one, leaving voters to decide without a chance to see two men asking to be their leader side-by-side.

More: Detroit news


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.