Former Macomb Township trustee Dino Bucci was scheduled to appear in federal court for a final pretrial and plea hearing June 27 in Port Huron. On June 26, the hearing was cancelled. He is reportedly cooperating with the government.

Former Macomb Township trustee Dino Bucci was scheduled to appear in federal court for a final pretrial and plea hearing June 27 in Port Huron. On June 26, the hearing was cancelled. He is reportedly cooperating with the government.

File photo by Nick Mordowanec


Bucci plea hearing cancelled

Reportedly cooperating with government

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 28, 2019

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — First placed on the docket in May 2018, a final pretrial and plea hearing was recently cancelled for former Macomb Township trustee Dino Bucci.

Bucci was scheduled to appear in federal court for a final pretrial and plea cutoff hearing June 27 in Port Huron. On June 26, the hearing was cancelled.

The 59-year-old’s case is in front of U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland and has been delayed numerous times.

A final pretrial conference is set for Jan. 7, 2020, with a jury trial moved from July 15 to Jan. 21, 2020.

A June 27 court order states both parties’ reasons for the delay are that Bucci has decided to cooperate with the government, which the parties believe will eventually lead to a resolution of the case with a plea to one or more offenses.

“Given the vast scope of the corruption case under investigation, about which the defendant has knowledge, including approximately 100 hours of tape recordings, substantial additional time is needed for the parties to meet and conduct debriefings,” the order states.

A pretrial motions deadline is Nov. 7.

Court documents indicate the hearing has been scheduled for five dates, going back to Sept. 5, 2018.

Last month, the township was notified that a petition for remission of $66,000, lost in relation to Bucci’s alleged illegal actions, was granted by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On April 16, Cleland granted Bucci permission to renew his passport and travel outside of the U.S.

The 18 criminal charges Bucci was indicted on in November 2017 allegedly took place over a nine-year period and included conspiracy, extortion, kickbacks, embezzlement and bribery in both his position as a trustee for Macomb Township and with the Macomb County Department of Public Works, where he served as operational services manager.

In the indictment, Bucci is accused of three counts of bribery conspiracy; nine counts of bribery and embezzlement; and six counts of extortion, mail fraud and money laundering.

In the township, Bucci was accused of embezzling and conspiring to embezzle nearly $100,000 from Macomb Township in connection with contractor Christopher Sorrentino.

Sorrentino’s sentencing is scheduled for July 9.

The first count of bribery conspiracy outlines nine years of Bucci working with other public officials and area contractors to solicit tens of thousands of dollars from contractors in the form of cash, checks and gift cards and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tickets to fundraising events and golf outings.

The order also includes that following the debriefings, the government needs more time to follow-up on information provided by Bucci, including obtaining documents and interviewing scores of witnesses.

In regard to a speedy trial, the order says the time period between July 16, 2019, and Jan. 21, 2020, qualifies as excludable delay under the Speedy Trial Act because the ends of justice served by the granting of the requested continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.