Ex-lawyer sentenced to 27 months for bribery in Clinton Township – Macomb Daily

A former Oakland County attorney was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison on Tuesday for his role in bribing a now-defunct company to receive a 10-year waste haul contract in Clinton Township.

Jay Schwartz received the sentence, which includes two years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, from U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland following Schwartz’s conviction of bribery conspiracy and two counts of bribery. Schwartz helped facilitate more than $40,000 in bribes from Charles Rizzo of former Rizzo Environmental Services to former township administrator Dean Reynolds, who is serving 17 years in prison for his role. Rizzo is serving 5 and a half years for his role.

The sentencing took place at the federal courthouse in Port Huron.

Schwartz will be told when to report to jail.

Corruption is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and conspiracy to bribe is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Schwartz, who operated a law firm in Farmington Hills, was found guilty of providing more than $40,000 in legal services to Reynolds in his divorce case and helping Rizzo pay a bribe of $3,000 to Reynolds in 2015. The bribes were paid in exchange for Reynolds. vote and efforts to award Rizzo Environmental a 10-year, $16 million contract extension with the township. (RES was acquired in 2016 by GFL Environmental)

The sentence was at the bottom of the sentencing guidelines, but above the 21 months requested by Schwartz’s lawyers in a sweeping 100-page request to lower or meet the guidelines based on the value of the contract being less than what was expected, Schwartz’s relatively minimal role and good character.

Cleland spoke out against a cut on Monday, saying Schwartz should not be rewarded because the contract generated less profit than expected. But even still, Cleland said, “It’s clear that the 2016 Clinton Township contract has already generated far more than the $550,000 net profit required to apply the fourteen-point improvement determined by the probation service. “.

Cleland also cited Schwartz’s active role in providing free legal services and suggested that a $3,000 bribe to Reynolds “be disguised as a fictitious loan from a third party.”

Cleland says Schwartz knew what he was doing.

“Defendant had previously represented Rizzo and RES for years,” Cleland wrote. “He knew he had to provide free legal services to Reynolds in exchange for Reynolds’ favorable handling of Rizzo’s proposed 2016 waste haul contract extension. The defendant played a leading role in leading at least part of the plot. »

In Monday’s decision, Cleland did not respond to more than 100 letters of support for Schwartz submitted by friends, family, colleagues and associates, including the former University basketball star. of Duke and NBA player Shane Battier, who was coached as a youth by Schwartz, game show host Chuck Woolery, basketball coach Kurt Keener and several judges, law enforcement officers and attorneys .

The case was part of the widespread federal investigation into public corruption centered in Macomb County, which resulted in the conviction of more than two dozen people, most by plea. Schwartz was one of three to be convicted by trial.

Former Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco remains the latest defendant to have his case resolved. His trial is scheduled for October 11.

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