Attorney says former Troy city manager will plead to federal bribery charge

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published July 10, 2018

 Kischnick

Kischnick

TROY — The story of former Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick took another turn after he was charged in federal court July 6 with bribery concerning programs that receive federal funds.

His attorney, Anjali Prasad, a former assistant U.S. attorney, said via email that they had negotiated a guilty plea with the government. 

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider alleges in court documents that in or around September 2015 through March 2018, Kischnick “did corruptly solicit and demand … and accept and agree to accept $3,000 in cash and other things of value totaling $20,879.50 from a representative of Contractor A, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with business and transactions involving $5,000 or more with the city of Troy.”

The contractor is not named. 

“Those who hold the public’s offices and use them for their own personal gain and enrichment should be aware. We will uncover your crimes and hold you fully accountable for your breach of the public’s trust. This office is committed to weeding out corruption everywhere we find it in southeastern Michigan,” Schneider said in a prepared statement.

The FBI investigated the case.

Kischnick faces up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on the felony charge. 

After the federal charge was filed, the city of Troy announced that the city administration planned to hire a forensic auditor to review city finances and that the leadership and city employees had cooperated fully with the investigation. 

“Through his criminal and unethical behavior, Mr. Kischnick has victimized residents, taxpayers, city employees and City Council,” City Manager Mark Miller said in a prepared statement. “The city is moving forward with employees that meet the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity.”

Prasad said via email: “Mr. Kischnick is grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for working in earnest with him to arrive at a fair representation of what did and did not happen in this case. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Kischnick asked a business associate whom he thought was a friend for $15,000, to help pay bills. 

She continued, “That associate paid for three meals and gave Mr. Kischnick $3,000 between December 2017 and March 2018. Mr. Kischnick was wrong to accept what amounts to approximately $5,879.50 from the individual. He intends to take full responsibility for his conduct.”

 

Kischnick charged with assault 
Prasad also represented Kischnick on an assault charge this past spring. 

He was arrested March 9 and was fired two days later.

His base salary, not including a car allowance, was $161,267.

He pleaded no contest to domestic violence in 52-2 District Court April 16 and was sentenced to 15 months probation and 30 days jail time held in abeyance.

 In answer to whether Kischnick’s guilty plea would affect this sentence, Prasad said via email, “The conduct underlying the federal charges occurred before the March 9 incident that resulted in probation. Judge (Kelly R.) Kostin and probation were both advised of the federal charges in advance of its becoming public, and no, this will not affect his current probation.” 

On May 21, 52-2 District Court Judge Kelley R. Kostin also ordered Kischnick, as part of his sentence, to continue with outpatient treatment for substance abuse, to complete a 40-week program for perpetrators of domestic violence, to serve the equivalent of five days in the Weekend Alternative Program for people who commit misdemeanors and to pay over $500 in fines. He is to have no contact with the victim. 

According to a Clawson police report that the Troy Times obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, police said the victim, identified in the report as Kischnick’s girlfriend, and Kischnick were intoxicated at the time, though the woman reportedly refused a breath test. Kischnick blew a 0.103 percent blood alcohol content on a breath test at the scene, according to the police report. 

Kischnick told police that he and the woman had been on their way home from the Clawson Steakhouse March 9 in an Uber when an argument ensued. 

Kischnick told police that the woman was intoxicated and kept falling down, and he tried to pick her up by her collar and keep her steady on her feet, according to the police report. 

Police said a witness stated that “there was no question that what he (the witness) saw was Kischnick forcibly pushing her to the ground in an aggressive manner and there was no way it could be confused as him assisting her while she was walking,” the report states.  

In July of 2016, Kischnick came under scrutiny for issues involving a car accident with a city vehicle, as well as questionable moves involving a vendor, the purchase of phone accessories and the city manager’s car allowance.

After review by a labor attorney that produced a 518-page report and three City Council closed sessions, Kischnick remained on the job. 

In August 2016, the Troy City Council, after heated discussion, voted 4-3 against waiving attorney-client privilege, which would have made that report public. 

Mayor Dane Slater, Mayor Pro Tem Ed Pennington and Councilmen Ethan Baker and Dave Henderson voted against waiving attorney-client privilege and Councilwomen Edna Abrahim and Ellen Hodorek and Councilman Jim Campbell voted in favor of waiving the attorney-client privilege. 

On April 9 of this year, the City Council voted 4-3 to waive attorney-client privilege on the 518-page report; Abrahim, Hodorek, Baker and Councilman David Hamilton voted to waive the attorney-client privilege. Slater, Pennington and Henderson opposed it.