Ex-Detroit city councilman sentenced to 2 years in prison for bribery

Andre Spivey one of several charged in federal probe into Detroit towing scandal

Former Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey has been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a bribery charge in connection with the federal probe into a Detroit corruption scandal.

DETROIT – Former Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey has been sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a bribery charge in connection with the federal probe into a Detroit corruption scandal.

Last year, Spivey, 48, admitted to conspiring with a member of his staff to commit bribery by accepting more than $35,000 in bribe payments in connection with the city council’s oversight of towing in Detroit. He resigned from the city council one day later, on Sept. 29, 2021.

“According to court records, while serving as an elected member of the Detroit City Council, Andre Spivey accepted $35,900 from an undercover federal law enforcement officer and a confidential source of information for the FBI,” a press release from the Department of Justice reads Wednesday. “On eight separate occasions between February 2018 and February 2020, Spivey, or a member of his staff identified as “Public Official A,” accepted bribe payments amounting to thousands of dollars from the undercover agent or the confidential source, all in connection with towing issues pending before the City Council.

“For example, on October 26, 2018, Spivey met with the undercover agent and the confidential source at the Side Street Diner in the City of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. During that meeting, Spivey accepted $1,000 in cash from the undercover agent and another $1,000 in cash from the confidential source. The payments were made to Spivey seeking Spivey’s assistance with a proposed towing ordinance pending before the City Council.”

Spivey on Wednesday was sentenced to two years in prison. He reportedly does not have to report until July 1. The man was home on a $10,000 bond after charges were brought against him last year.

One month ago, a former Detroit police detective was the fifth person to be charged in connection with a federal probe called “Operation Northern Hook,” which is an investigation into bribery and extortion within Detroit City Hall and the city’s towing operations.

More: A look inside Detroit’s towing scandal: How the scheme worked

Two police officers have also been charged in the scandal. Lt. John F. Kennedy, 56, of Rochester Hills, was serving as the supervisor in command of the department’s integrity unit when officials said he conspired with Officer Daniel S. Vickers, 54, of Livonia, to commit bribery. Kennedy held the position from 2017 to March 2018 at the Seventh Precinct.

The investigation is ongoing.

You can see the latest press release from the U.S. Department of Justice below.


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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.