‘Towing titan’ Fiore pleads guilty to bribery in Rizzo scandal

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published December 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — On Dec. 20, Gasper Fiore, 57, of Grosse Pointe Shores, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery in connection to a municipal towing contract in Clinton Township.

The announcement was made by acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch, who was joined by FBI Detroit Field Office special agent in charge David P. Gelios and special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service Manny J. Muriel.

The case investigation was conducted by the FBI and the IRS. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Gardey, R. Michael Bullotta and Adriana Dydell.

“Today’s guilty plea is a significant blow to corruption in southeast Michigan,” Lemisch said in a statement. “Bribery subverts representative government, and this conviction demonstrates that such conduct, by either public officials or bribe payers, will not be tolerated.”

Fiore, whom the FBI referred to as a “towing titan,” admitted at the plea hearing that he conspired to pay bribes to former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds in order to obtain a municipal contract with the township. The bribes amounted to $4,000 and $3,000 in March and May of 2016, “in order to buy Reynolds’ vote” in relation to the towing contract.

Fiore reportedly paid the bribes to Reynolds through Charles B. Rizzo — the former CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services — who was already cooperating with federal law enforcement at the time of the bribes. On Nov. 9, Rizzo pleaded guilty to bribery and embezzlement charges.

“Today’s guilty plea should reassure citizens that those who endeavor to entice public officials through bribery and kickback schemes can count on encountering the formidable investigative resources of the FBI and our partners, and will be held to account for their corrupt practices,” Gelios said.

The bribery conspiracy charge against Fiore carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing date is scheduled for May 1, 2018, in front of District Judge Robert H. Cleland.

At press time, Fiore’s attorney, Robert Morgan, could not be reached for comment.