Former trash kings Rizzos reach plea deal for bribery, fraud charges

By: Nick Mordowanec | All | Published October 12, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Charles B. “Chuck” Rizzo, and his father, Charles P. Rizzo — the two former waste hauler kingpins in Macomb County — have reached plea deals in their corruption cases.

According to U.S District Court records, the pair is scheduled to appear before District Judge Robert H. Cleland Nov. 9 in Port Huron.

Ariel Glasner, attorney for the elder Rizzo, and Chuck Rizzo’s attorney, Thomas Green, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Michael Bullotta, on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to comment. He added that his office may issue a press release the day of the hearing, or it may wait until the sentencing date.

Chuck Rizzo, the former CEO of garbage hauler Rizzo Environmental Services, was indicted May 31 on five counts of bribery and three counts of conspiracy to commit bribery. His father, Charles, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

On May 31, Acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch announced that the individuals’ charges were in relation to refuse contracts with Clinton, Macomb and Chesterfield townships. He was joined in the announcement 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.

“This indictment demonstrates our commitment to bring to justice all participants in bribery schemes, including both the corrupt public officials and the bribe payers seeking to profit from public contracts,” Lemisch said in a statement that day. “Our citizens are entitled to decisions based on the best interests of the public, not the best interests of politicians who accept bribes and bribe-paying contractors.”

Plea deals in the corruption probe have already been reached by former Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock, former New Haven Trustee Christopher Craigmiles, former New Haven Trustee Brett Harris and ex-Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas.

Dean Reynolds, a former Clinton Township trustee whose arrest last October sparked the flurry of charges in various municipalities, has not reached any type of plea deal.

Reynolds and Grosse Pointe Shores resident Gasper Fiore are both charged with bribery, due to their interactions and communications — including an alleged $4,000 cash bribe in order for Clinton Township to secure a towing contract in March 2016, and another alleged $3,000 cash bribe in May 2016.

Attorneys representing Reynolds and Fiore are expected to convene Oct. 23 for a status conference before Judge Cleland in Port Huron.

 

Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki contributed to this story.