Monday, September 30, 2013

Stolen car found on Kirkwood

A severely stripped - and presumably stolen - Dodge Durrango was found yesterday on Kirkwood Street, in between Rosemont and Penrod Street. The vehicle appears to have been towed to that location and then dumped there by whoever stripped it everything with resale value.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus says something intelligent

Let it be known that Miley Cyrus recently said something that I regard has reasonably intelligent and halfway profound. I believe it is safe to say that this quote is the result of the growing up that she did while visiting Detroit.*

Post by XL Nightclub.

*By this, of course, I mean the fact that Miley Cyrus actually said something that was reasonably intelligent and halfway profound. Not the reference to molly.

We can still blame Miley Cyrus's reference to molly on Los Angeles.

Some help arrives in Detroit from the federal government

The federal government, it was announced this afternoon, will provide $300 million in aid to the City of Detroit to make improvements in public safety and blight removal. I'm glad that the City of Detroit is getting a significant pile of federal cash. However, I would be even more excited if the federal government was lending us some of their staff.

Here's why:

Kwame M. Kilpatrick and his compatriots were crooks who squirreled away a multitude of no-bid contracts and no-work employees; the vast majority of which are still in effect. These things are, in all likelihood, costing the City of Detroit hundreds of millions of dollars every single year. This, of course, is based on how much money goes into the budget for city services relative to other cities our size and how little actually comes out.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal agencies have some top-notched forensic accountants on staff as well as other professionals with the training and experience to investigate and prosecute complex financial crimes. If one were to bring those professionals to Detroit and set them loose on the City of Detroit's books, I have no doubt that the result would be at least $300 million per year - each and every year - if not more by finally getting rid of what's left of Kwame Kilpatrick's crew.

Getting a one-time pile of cash from the federal government is great. However, getting it each and every year is even better. The feds could help make that possible loaning us the staff that we need to purge ourselves once and for all of Kwame Kilpatrick's crew.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cool Warrendale Thing: Gracie See is hiring a cook

Gracie See Pizzeria - Photo by Frank Nemecek
One of the things that I love more than anything else about publishing this blog, is posting job openings - particularly with local retail businesses. I know that with one simple post, I can potentially improve the life of the person who will be hired. Also, the fact that local businesses are hiring, gives hope that the economy in the Detroit area really is improving.

Gracie See Pizzeria (6889 Greenfield Rd.) is hiring a cook. Interested applicants are asked to visit the restaurant in person as soon as possible. Immediate, on-site hiring is a possibility for the right right applicant.

This job is your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tip of the week: Margaritaville Party

Tijuana's Mexican Kitchen - Photo by Frank Nemecek
On Saturday, October 12, the good people at Tijuana's Mexican Kitchen (18950 Ford Rd.) will host a Margaritaville Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests will be able to enjoy specialty tacos along with their full menu as well as three feature Margaritas and live music from Lil Jimi Dearborn.

Their special Margaritaville Party menu is available on-line here.

The Margaritaville Party at Tijuana's Mexican Kitchen is your Warrendale Tip of the Week, which just happens to be a day later than normal due to some technology issues.

Special Assessment District for the Warrendale neighborhood

Fox 2 News Headlines

Some of the other neighborhoods in Detroit are petitioning the City of Detroit to create a Special Assessment District. This would allow the neighborhoods to levy an additional tax on themselves, which they will be able to use for improved services. The neighborhoods that are asking for this currently include Brightmoor, Rosedale Park, Southwest, and University District.

Kevyn Orr and the Law Department have been largely unresponsive to this idea. They haven't rejected the idea, but aren't approving it either.

When I was president of the Warrendale Community Organization a few years ago, I pushed a similar idea. It was well-received at the time. My proposal at the time was:

  • $15 per year for a single family detached home that was owner occupied and the owner's primary residence;
  • $25 per year for a single family detached home that was rental property;
  • $30 per year for a commercial property and
  • $10 per year per unit for multi-unit residential property, such as a duplex or apartment complex.

If this had been enacted, it would have brought in approximately $300,000 in annual revenue. This would have enabled us to have our streets plowed during the winter. It would also have funded a team that would be responsible for issuing tickets to all of the bulk trash violators and then removing the piles of bulk trash at the owner's expense. It would have also been enough to provide for at least some additional police patrols in the area.

However, back then, there wasn't any kind of legislation at the state level that would have authorized such a thing. Therefore, my idea died out.

I'm glad to see this idea coming back. I hope the City of Detroit gives the voters of Detroit the chance to impose such as tax on themselves.

For all of current residents, assuming this became an option, how would you feel about something like this happening in Warrendale? Please your thoughts in a comment below or send me an email.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Federal jury returns guilty convictions in carjacking ring

Two Detroit men and a Redford Township man were found guilty yesterday by a federal jury in Detroit on 20 counts in a case involving armed carjacking to support a chop shop, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge John Robert Shoup of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chief James Craig of the Detroit Police Department, Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue of the Michigan State Police, and Special Agent in Charge William Hayes of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The jury convicted Frank Harper, age 29, of Detroit, Phillip Harper, age 25, of Detroit, and Bernard Edmond, age 46, of Redford Township. The three-week trial was conducted before U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh.

The evidence presented at trial established that the defendants conspired with several others to steal high-end vehicles, many by committing armed carjacking, and then to retag the vehicles for sale. Edmond would purchase the stolen vehicles from the Harper brothers and others after the thefts. He would then alter the vehicle identification numbers of the stolen vehicles to conceal the fact that the vehicles had been stolen. Edmond would also create false documents to file with the secretary of state and then sell the vehicles to unwitting buyers in Michigan and other states. Edmond created a market for the stolen vehicles by informing the Harpers and others of his desire to buy these stolen vehicles.

The Harper brothers committed several carjackings and other auto thefts. For example, on October 14, 2010, Phillip Harper and others brandished firearms to steal a Cadillac Escalade, a GMC Yukon, a Chyrsler Aspen, and a Mercury Milan from the Elysium Night Club in downtown Detroit. On January 25, 2011, Frank Harper and others carjacked a Mercedes S550 from a person at the intersection of Atwater and Joseph Campau streets in Detroit. On January 31, 2011, the Harper brothers and another used a firearm to carjack three vehicles from a person on Joseph Campau Street in Detroit. On February 22, 2011, the Harper brothers and others carjacked three high-end vehicles from the valet at Opus One restaurant in Detroit. On March 20, 2011, Philip Harper and others carjacked a Lexus 460 near Club Vain in Detroit. Many of these and other vehicles were intended for Bernard Edmund to retag and sell.

Co-defendants Justin Bowman, Stratford Newton, and Darrell Young have each pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.

Phillip Harper faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 80 years in federal prison, and Frank Harper and Bernard Edmond are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 55 years in federal prison. A sentencing date will be set by the court.

In a prepared statement, McQuade said, “Armed carjacking poses an unacceptable danger to public safety and creates a climate of fear for residents in our community. Although these convictions bring with them severe sentences, we think they are appropriate for such serious and pervasive crimes. We hope that these convictions will deter others from committing similar crimes that wreak havoc in our neighborhoods.”

Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Shoup added, “This case stands as a superb example of the fine collaborative work being done by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Detroit Police Department. FBI thanks the Assistant United States Attorneys who handled this case for the excellent work that they did in bringing justice to those who would prey on our society.”

Chief Craig thanked all law enforcement agencies involved by saying, “Thank you to all involved who dismantled this Detroit carjacking ring. This is another opportunity for the Detroit Police Department to work with our partners to help reduce carjacking crimes, which is one of the department’s top priorities.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations as well as officers from the Detroit Police Department and Michigan State Police.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freep to host web chat with City Council candidates

The Detroit Free Press is doing a series of web chats with candidates from each of the City Council districts. They will host one featuring the two candidates for the 7th district, which includes Warrendale, on Monday, September 30 at noon.

I will post additional details about how to join this chat as soon as I have them. Until then, please mark your calendars and plan to join us on September 30 at noon to talk with the two men who hope to represent us on the City Council.

Pilgrim statue to visit the Warrendale neighborhood

Mr. Jose Robert Dias Tavares - artist of Our Lady's Image

An important Catholic statue, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, will visit Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church (7685 Grandville Ave.) in the Warrendale neighborhood next month. This statue will be on display on Sunday, October 6, starting with a living rosary at 11:30 a.m.

The Statue of Our Lady of Fatima last visited SS. Peter and Paul Parish on November 27, 1968.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tip of the Week: Detroit Design Festival

Detroit Design Festival 2013 Promotional Video from Detroit Design Festival on Vimeo.

The Detroit Design Festival starts tomorrow. It will feature more than 100 exhibits, shows, and installations - all designed to showcase some of the creative talent that exists within the Detroit area. While none of these happenings will occur in the Warrendale neighborhood (maybe next year?), they are still really cool and worth going to.

Plus, all of these events are free and there's even a free shuttle to take you from one event to the next once you get the first part of it. As a great 20th century philosopher and cultural critic once opined in the days of my youth, "Free stuff is cool."

There is a list of all the happening during the Detroit Design Festival here. This festival is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bombing victims receive a Congressional Gold Medal

Congressional Gold Medal - Image from the U.S. Mint
Earlier this week, a Congressional Gold Medal was awarded posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley. They were the four young black girls who lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.  The ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol Building.

The senseless, premature deaths of these young girls as they prepared for Sunday school galvanized the civil rights movement and sparked a surge of momentum that helped secure the enactment of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The 16th Street Baptist Church remains a powerful symbol of the movement for civil and human rights, and the ultimate sacrifices made by these girls are emblematic of many others who have lost their lives for the causes of freedom and equality.

The United States Mint struck and prepared the Congressional Gold Medal as authorized by Public Law 113-11.  The medal's obverse (heads side) was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.  The design features the silhouette of four young girls, representing those killed on that fateful day.  The victims' names are inscribed around the border of the design, with the quote, "Pivotal in the struggle for equality." Additional inscriptions include "September 15" and "1963," which are incised across the silhouettes. 

The medal's reverse (tails side) was designed by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.  The design depicts a view of the 16th Street Baptist Church with the quote, "Killed in the bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church" to the left of the image.  Additional inscriptions are "Act of Congress 2013" and "Birmingham, Alabama."

The public law that authorized the United States Mint to strike the Congressional Gold Medal also authorizes the bureau to strike and sell three-inch and 1½-inch bronze replicas.  These medals are currently available for purchase at the bureau's online catalog, The medals also can be purchased by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).  Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).  The three-inch medals are priced at $39.95 each and the 1½-inch medals are priced at $6.95 each. 

The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873.  It is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.  The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins.  The United States Mint's numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.

Publisher's Note: The Friday Focus series seeks to highlight interesting stories, in my opinion, simply have not gotten as much attention in the news media as they deserve.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friends of Rouge Park to meet on Tuesday

Rouge Park - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The Friends of Rouge Park will have their next monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 17 from 6 - 7 p.m. The group will meet inside of the Don Bosco Center (9357 Westwood St.), which is just north of the Warrendale neighborhood at W. Chicago.

Their agenda for this meeting will include an update on the master plan for the park. Everyone interested in the future of the largest park in Detroit is invited to attend.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering 9/11

I was working at a small hotel several years ago as a night manager. It was a relatively easy gig; one that allowed me to get some writing done in the quiet hours and still have time left to sell insurance.

At approximately 6 a.m. one morning, I wrote the date "September 11, 2001" on a log sheet. As soon as I wrote that date, I felt that it was something important; a date I should never forget. It wasn't until a couple of hours later that I remembered that day was my brother John's birthday and that I had completely forgotten about it.

A couple of hours after that, I was standing in the lobby of that same hotel with a random guest. CNN was on the television. We both watched, completely unable to move, as the entire world changed before our eyes.

I miss the days when September 11th was simply my brother's birthday.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tip of the week: 14 financial tips for seniors

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an independent agency of the United States government charged with overseeing bank deposits, released a series of 15 financial tips for senior citizens. Most of these will, of course, apply to any adult regardless of their age. It's my please to present this list as my Warrendale Tip of the Week (one day late due to technology issues).

Decide if you need financial help from an expert and, if so, choose wisely. A financial adviser could help answer questions such as how quickly to take money from savings and how to invest in your later years.

However, FDIC Community Affairs Specialist Ron Jauregui cautions that “before you follow the advice of a supposed ‘expert’ who claims to have special credentials for advising seniors, research what that title may or may not mean and the adviser’s background.” According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the training, standards, and regulatory oversight for more than 50 senior designations used by financial advisers can vary significantly. To learn more about professional designations and for tips on choosing an investment adviser, please see this article the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Prepare for the possibility that you may become unable to handle your finances. Create a list of your financial institutions and account numbers and keep it in a safe place that would be accessible by your loved ones in an emergency. An attorney can help you decide if you should have a legal document known as a power of attorney, which would allow one or more people you designate to make key decisions with as much or as little of your financial or personal life as you choose.

You can also add a co-owner to a deposit account. However, that person will have the ability to conduct transactions, including withdrawing money from a checking or savings account, without your prior approval. Your banker or attorney may be able to help you identify other possible alternatives, but you still must think carefully about who you give access to your money.

Develop a spending plan for your retirement. Having a plan for your money and limiting expenses in retirement is important. Consider new ways to cut costs, such as by letting your auto insurer know you no longer drive your car to work. “Consider continuing to put some of your income into savings, especially for short-term goals such as holiday gifts, because that can help you avoid a large, sudden withdrawal from your retirement investments,” added Luke W. Reynolds, Chief of the FDIC’s Outreach and Program Development Section.

Consider limiting the mail and phone calls you receive from marketers. Unsolicited offers from unfamiliar companies can result in you overspending your budget or paying for shoddy merchandise or service from vendors who don’t stand behind their products. Consider being added to the national Do Not Call Registry (call 1-888-382-1222 or visit Also, review the privacy disclosures that banks and other financial companies you do business with send at least once a year. They explain if and how you can limit certain sharing of your information.

For more guidance on stopping unwanted mail and phone calls, the Federal Trade Commission has more information available here.

“To protect yourself in general, be wary if someone approaches you unexpectedly to say he or she specializes in helping seniors with home improvements, health cures or financial products. Don’t let anyone make you think you need a good or service that you didn’t need before,” Reynolds added. “In fact, a recent study suggests that many consumers pay hundreds of dollars each year in fees that get automatically charged to their credit card or bank account, often on a monthly basis, for a subscription or other service they probably never really wanted. So closely review your credit card and bank statements to find any charges that you may be able to cancel because they are for products or services you can do without.”

Review your credit reports even if you don’t plan to apply for a new loan. Why? Mistakes or other errors on your credit reports could make it more costly for you to buy insurance or borrow money (for example, if your credit card company raises your interest rate on future purchases because of a problem tied to a credit report). And, monitoring your credit reports is a way to detect identity theft. Order your free credit report at least once every 12 months from each of the three main credit bureaus at or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

Use credit cards cautiously. Accumulating debt can be costly, yet many seniors have considerable credit card debt. Before making purchases using your credit card, consider whether you will be able to pay your balance in full when the statement arrives, so you will avoid costly interest charges. Even small purchases can add up to big credit card bills.

Remember that a reverse mortgage will eventually have to be paid back — with interest. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 or older to borrow against the equity in their homes without having to make monthly payments as long as they meet the terms of their loan agreement, such as staying current on property taxes. However, the money borrowed plus interest must eventually be repaid, usually when you or your heirs sell the house.

“If you do get a reverse mortgage and you live in the home with your spouse, some experts suggest that both of you sign the reverse mortgage agreement to ensure that the surviving spouse can continue to live in the home if one dies before the other,” Reynolds added.

For more about reverse mortgages, see Borrowing From Your Home in Retirement? Carefully Research the Benefits and Risks as well as the Spring 2010 FDIC Consumer News, which is available here.

If you’re considering an annuity, understand the potential pros, cons, and costs. You have probably seen or heard promotions for annuities, which are financial products tied to a contract between a consumer and an insurance company. Insurers sell annuities but so do other financial institutions, including banks. You buy an annuity by making either a single payment or a series of payments to the insurance company. In return, the company promises to make payments to you, either as one lump-sum payment or a series of payments for a specified time period.

Because there are different types of annuities and a mix of potential benefits and risks, it’s important to learn as much as you can before investing. A good place to start is on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Web site at or by calling the SEC toll-free at 1-800-732-0330.

“Remember, even if purchased through an insured bank, annuities do not qualify for FDIC deposit insurance or any other comparable protections under federal law,” advised Jan Templeman, an FDIC Consumer Affairs Specialist. “So unlike FDIC-insured CDs and other deposits, your right to receive payments on an annuity is likely to depend almost entirely on the stability and strength of the insurance company offering the product.”

Know if you've agreed to let your bank cover certain overdrafts. You have a choice whether or not your bank will charge you a fee, perhaps $30 or more, to cover everyday purchases you make with a debit card when you don’t have enough money in your bank account to cover the cost of the purchases. And, you can change your mind on this decision at any time. A recent study by the CFPB found that consumers who have “opted in” (agreed) to be covered by an overdraft program are more likely than consumers who don’t opt in to pay costly fees and face the possibility of having their bank account closed.

“Not being opted in to an overdraft program would mean that debit card purchases would be declined if you didn’t have enough money in your account, but on the other hand, you would avoid paying a sizable fee for making that purchase,” said Reynolds. He also noted that your ability, under the law, to decide whether to opt in to an overdraft program only involves everyday debit card payments, such as at a store, and does not apply to checks you write or recurring bills charged to your account.

Another way to avoid overdrafts is to keep tabs on your account balance before using your debit card or writing a check. In addition, you can also ask your bank to link your checking account to savings to cover any overdrafts, perhaps for a small fee.

Look into discounts and other deals. “For consumers over a certain age, some financial institutions may offer breaks on the cost of bank products and services,” explained Mary Bass, a Senior Community Affairs Specialist with the FDIC.

However, even if your bank offers a special deal for seniors, you may be able to do better elsewhere or with another type of account at that bank. “Comparison shopping is key,” Bass added. “Banks and other businesses may negotiate with respect to fees or other account terms, so ask questions and show them what is being offered by competitors. You might be able to get a better deal than what is advertised.”

Make it easier to manage your money and pay the bills. If you've accumulated multiple bank and investment accounts and credit cards over the years, consider whether you can close some you no longer use or need. This can reduce the number of accounts you have to manage.

Also, for payments you are due to receive, including money from pensions or tax refunds, there are benefits to having them automatically deposited into a low-cost or no-cost checking or savings account using direct deposit. If you manage that account well and avoid fees, it’s likely to be less expensive and offer you more features than alternatives. You can also have automatic withdrawals from your bank account to routinely put a certain amount of money into a savings account or a U.S. Savings Bond.

Consider additional ways to save time and money. Your bank and the companies you do business with also will likely provide alternatives for you to pay your bills electronically. These options can include online bill paying or having payments automatically transferred from your account. These can save you time and money by avoiding unnecessary trips to pay bills. And, making scheduled payments automatically can help avoid late charges or service interruptions.

Your bank and other financial services providers also may offer incentives if you receive your statements electronically instead of in the mail. It’s important, though, that you keep the anti-virus and security software on your computer updated, promptly review each bill for accuracy, and monitor your account balance to avoid the risk of overdrawing your account.

“Be cautious about going paperless if you aren't tech savvy or comfortable going online to review your statements when they arrive,” warned Reynolds. “The law is clear: if an error or a fraudulent item appears on your statement and you promptly report it to the bank, your liability is limited. Likewise, the bank may send you important notices that tell you about changes it plans to make to your account, such as with respect to fees. You need to decide for yourself what will be the best way for you to review these key communications in a timely manner.”

Organize and protect your important documents. Items to keep at home, in a secure place that’s easy for you to get to, may include your bank and brokerage statements, insurance policies, Social Security and company pension records, and other personal and financial papers you or your family might need on short notice. If caregivers or others regularly visit you, make sure that your checkbooks, credit cards and other financial records are protected.

A safe deposit box is best for storing documents or valuables that could be difficult or impossible to replace and that you probably won’t need access to on a night, weekend or holiday. Good candidates include originals of birth certificates, property deeds and car titles. Think twice before using a safe deposit box for an original of a will or power of attorney because it may not be possible for your loved ones to access them quickly if you become incapacitated or pass away. For guidance on where to store these documents, check with an attorney about what is required or recommended based on state law.

Regardless of where you keep important documents, seal them in airtight and waterproof plastic bags or containers to prevent water damage. In case of a natural disaster or a fire, you may want to prepare one or more emergency evacuation bags with essential financial items and documents, such as some cash and checks, copies of your credit cards and identification cards, and a key to your safe deposit box.

These financial tips for senior are your Warrendale Tips of the Week.

Mike Duggan presents plan to rebuild neighorhoods

Mayoral candidate Mike Duggan presented his 10-point plan to rebuild the neighborhoods of Detroit this past Friday evening. This happened at a community meeting in southwest Detroit, which I was able to attend.

As such I wanted to share with everyone, a relatively short (less than 10 minutes in duration) video that I made to showcase his plan.

His opponent in the upcoming general election, Benny Napoleon, is supposed to release his own plan to rebuild the neighborhoods of Detroit this week. As soon as it's available, I will have those details on this blog.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Former Wayne County official sentenced to prison

A former Wayne County official was sentenced to more than three years in prison for obstructing justice in the investigation of a bribery and extortion scheme, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced yesterday afternoon. She was joined in this announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge John Robert Shoup for the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Zayd Allebban, former Wayne County Director of Enterprise Applications, the office that does software application development for Wayne County, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. Allebban was found guilty at trial in February by a federal jury in Detroit on charges of falsifying documents with the intent to obstruct justice. The purpose of the falsified documents was to conceal a bribery and extortion scheme involving Allebban’s friend and supervisor, Tahir Kazmi, former Wayne County chief information officer.

The evidence presented at trial established that Allebban and Kazmi sought to obstruct justice by seeking to persuade a private contractor to provide false information to the FBI and to a federal grand jury investigating corruption in the Wayne County government. Allebban and Kazmi sought to conceal the fact that the contractor had given Kazmi tens of thousands of dollars in cash and trips to Hawaii, Turkey, and Florida. Allebban was found guilty of falsifying documents that indicated that all payments from the contractor had been repaid by Kazmi, prior to the initiation of the grand jury investigation, with the intent to obstruct the grand jury and FBI investigation. Allebban, as part of the scheme, also delivered $24,000 in cash to the private contractor in an effort to induce the contractor to tell the FBI that the contractor had never given anything to Kazmi.

Allebban was found not guilty on separate charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice by means of false documents. Tahir Kazmi pleaded guilty on July 26, 2012, to accepting a bribe and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 13, 2013. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney McQuade said in a prepared statement, “Public officials who illegally enrich themselves will be detected and brought to justice. Efforts to conceal their crimes will bring additional charges and higher penalties.”

FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Shoup added, “The citizens of Wayne County deserve honest government and leaders committed to serving the needs of taxpayers. This verdict should serve as a reminder that the FBI-led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force will remain vigilant and dedicated to stopping these illegal acts.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and Detroit-Area Public Corruption Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheldon Light.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Labor Day

I want to take a moment to wish a Happy Labor Day to everyone in the Warrendale neighborhood and beyond.

My celebrations for today will include watching Norma Rae, starring Academy Award winner Sally Field in the title role. That film always seems appropriate on this holiday.

Happy Labor Day, everyone!