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Third arrest made in Macomb County corruption investigation

Nov 18, 2016

FBI agents have made another arrest in an ongoing investigation into widespread corruption in Macomb County.

Chesterfield Township Supervisor Michael Lovelock was arrested Thursday morning. Lovelock is accused of accepting more than $30,000 in cash bribes over the course of several years in exchange for helping a company secure a services contract with the township.

Lovelock, a Democrat who lost reelection last week, was recorded on video accepting two payments totaling $4,000 from undercover agents, according to the FBI

Federal officials also found text messages between Lovelock and an unnamed businessperson that showed evidence of Lovelock asking for cash bribes in exchange for voting in the company’s interests.

According to the Detroit Free Press, sources close to the investigation say that the unnamed business in the charges is the Detroit trash company Rizzo Environmental Services.

The charging documents do not name Rizzo Environmental Services, but the Free Press has learned from sources close to the investigation that Rizzo is the unnamed company that was paying bribes to Lovelock for favors. Among those favors, the FBI claims in court documents, was Lovelock helping Rizzo Environmental Services get paid for  cleanup work during the historic 2014  flood that devastated Macomb County.

The FBI is in southeast Michigan for “an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan,” according to a statement from the Bureau in October.

“The Detroit FBI along with its partners assigned to the Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force remain committed to investigating those who criminally violate their oaths of office.  I would encourage anyone who has information about corrupt activity in Macomb County or any other community in Michigan to contact the Detroit FBI Public Corruption tip line at 313-965-2222,” [said David Gelios in the Detroit division of the FBI.]

This is the third arrest in the investigation in the past several weeks. A trustee in Macomb Township and a trustee in Clinton Township have also been accused of accepting bribes related to government contracts.