By Allan Lengel
DETROIT — In this cash-strapped city on the brink of financial collapse, seeing public corruption run wild is tough.
On Tuesday, the feds struck back, indicting the city’s former treasurer Jeffrey Beasley for taking bribes and kickbacks in return for approving more than $200 million in investments for two city of Detroit pension funds that lost $84 million from investments associated with the bribes.
Interestingly, Beasley is the former appointee and frat brother of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is already under indictment for public corruption.
The indictment against Beasley alleges that he conspired with others to personally enrich himself and his co-conspirators between 2006 and 2008 by accepting bribes in the form of cash, travel, meals, golf clubs, drinks, gambling money, hotel stays, entertainment, Las Vegas concert tickets, massages, limousine service, private plane flights, and other things of value.
Authorities said that the bribes came from people who had business before the General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement.
The indictment alleges that Beasley personally received more than $100,000 in cash from people having business before the two pension funds. Another part of the scheme included demands by Beasley and others that individuals having business before the pension funds contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in order to receive approval for their investment requests.
“Employees of the City of Detroit are entitled to honest services from the trustees of their pension funds. We will prosecute public officials who abuse their positions of trust to personally enrich themselves at the expense of the people they were intended to serve,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.
Detroit’s top FBI agent Andrew Arena added: “This is another example of a once trusted public official abusing their power for personal gain. The FBI remains dedicated to rooting out this type of corruption and reminding public officials they serve the citizens not themselves.”