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Tag: Sam Riddle

Detroit Political Consultant Sam Riddle Gets 37 Months

Sam Riddle/facebook

Sam Riddle/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle, who created drama by defying court gag orders and posting comments on Twitter and Facebook, was hit Wednesday with a 37 months federal sentence for bribery and extortion, the Detroit News reported.

Riddle, 64, admitted bribing former Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore, tax evasion and extorting businesses when he worked for the now imprisoned Detroit City Council Member Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi.) She was convicted on public corruption charges.

He vowed to return to politics and teach a new generation to avoid mistakes, the News reported.

“You can shackle my arms, you can shackle my feet, but you can’t shackle my soul,” he said, according to the News

Ex-Detroit Fed Prosecutor Convertino Stepped into New Controversy With Old Colleagues: Then Case Suddenly Ends

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

Ex-Prosecutor Richard Convertino

UPDATE: (Fri. May 21) — The battle between  Richard Convertino and prosecutors came to an abrupt halt Thursday when Convertino’s client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters pleaded guilty   in the bribery case along with her co-defendant Sam Riddle. Waters, who pleaded to a misdemeanor, is expected to get probation and Riddle could get up to 37 months in prions, according to the Detroit News.
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Richard Convertino, the controversial former Detroit federal prosecutor is in the middle of a controversy once again with former colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This time it’s over wiretaps.

Federal prosecutors in a court motion claim that Convertino, who is now a defense attorney, breached a court secrecy order and disclosed government informants when he filed a motion to suppress evidence from wiretaps in a bribery case against his client, ex-state Rep. Mary Waters, according to the Detroit News. Convertino told the paper he has done nothing improper.

Convertino has a history with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Known as a hard-charging prosecutor,  he successfully prosecuted two men on terrorism related charges in 2003. A third co-defendant was only convicted on fraud charges and a fourth was acquitted.  The men had been arrested shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

Then the case unraveled.

Read more »

Defense Atty. Accuses FBI of Improperly Recording Detroit Journalist’s Conversations in Public Corruption Case

Bankole Thompson/facebook

Journalist Bankole Thompson/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-federal prosecutor turned defense attorney is accusing the FBI of improperly taping conversations of a Detroit journalist and fabricating documents by describing him as an “unknown male.”, according to the Detroit News.

The defense attorney Richard Convertino, in a court filing on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claimed the FBI recorded the conversations of Michigan Chronicle senior editor Bankole Thompson and failed to get approval from Washington as required, the News reported.

Bankole was talking to Sam Riddle, the target of a public corruption probe, but nothing beneficial was said in those conversations,  claimed Convertino, who also alleged other improprieties involving the wiretaps.

Convertno represents ex-state Rep. Mary Waters, a former companion of Riddle’s. Both Riddle and Waters are charged with bribing a Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore.

“As fruits of the poisonous tree, it is clear that without these illegal wiretaps, the government would not have had any evidence from which to derive …. the purported bribe(s) of Southfield City Councilman William Lattimore,” Convertino wrote in the motion.

Consequently, he asked that the charges be dropped against Waters.

The paper reported that a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined comment.

Read Full Story

Read Convertino’s Motion

Race Played Role in Federal Court Mistrial in Detroit — One of America’s Most Racially Divisive Cities

Sam Riddle/wdiv

Sam Riddle/wdiv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Early last year newly minted Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. shook things up when he delivered a speech saying Americans were “cowards” when it came to race.

“Though the nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder said at the time.

On Wednesday, his federal prosecutors came smack up against the issue in Detroit, one of the nation’s most racially divisive cities, after a jury deadlocked 11-1 and a mistrial was declared in federal court in a high profile public corruption case involving Sam Riddle, an African American who had served as an aide to ex-City Council member Monica Conyers, the wife of Congressman John Conyers.

The Detroit News reported that only one juror — the only African American on the jury — refused to convict Riddle. And apparently she was not a coward when it came to raising the race issue. The News reported that she  told fellow jurors early on in deliberations that they wanted to “hang the black man.”

The prosecution plans to go for a second trial.

To read the full story click here.

Nail Biting Continues in Detroit: Deliberations Enter 6th Day for Ex-Council Aide to Cong. John Conyer’s Crooked Wife

Sam Riddle/facebook

Sam Riddle/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The nail biting continues in Detroit where a federal jury on Wednesday is set to enter its sixth day of deliberations in the trial of Sam Riddle, an outspoken  former city council aide accused of shaking down business people along with his ex-boss, Council member Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John Conyers.

The jury last week said it was at an impasse, but U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn directed it to continue deliberating.

The Detroit Free Press wrote that ” Riddle, meanwhile, continues to post various thoughts on Twitter that are open to interpretation.

“Late Tuesday night, he posted: “Musings: Lawyers that won’t represent should be cast aside. When is a deal not a deal? You’ll know when your lawyers say ‘be realistic.'”

Conyers wife Monica Conyers was convicted on public corruption charges and is no longer a city council member. She is awaiting sentencing.

Feds Charge Detroit Political Consultant with Teaming Up with Rep. John Conyer’s Wife to Extort At Least $65,000

Sam Riddle/wdiv
Sam Riddle/wdiv

The political corruption probe continues to unravel in Detroit. The latest charges involve a free-talking political consultant Sam Riddle and  ex-Detroit City council member Monica Conyers, wife of Congressman John Conyers.  Riddle once worked as Monica Conyer’s chief of staff. By the way, this isn’t the end of the corruption charges in Detroit.

BY JOE SWICKARD, BEN SCHMITT, DAVID ASHENFELTER AND GINA DAMRON
Detroit FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
DETROIT — Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle was indicted today on a host of federal charges ranging from bribery to extortion, mail fraud and making false statements and court documents contend that former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers participated at every turn of the conspiracy.

Also charged was former state legislator Mary Waters, who lives with Riddle. The pair were charged with conspiracy to bribe and two counts of bribery stemming from their alleged roles in helping a Southfield pawnshop relocate and expand in that city.

Riddle alone was charged with multiple offenses in connection with the tainted 2007 Synagro sludge-treatment contract. He was charged with extortion, making false statements, mail fraud and bribery relating to Synagro.

For Full Story

Read Indictment

Read More Charges

Read Press Release

U.S. Atty. Paralegal in Detroit Suspected of Leaking Secret Info in City Hall Probe

detroit-city-limitsYes, this is the scandal that keeps on giving.

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — A paralegal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office is suspended after officials suspected she leaked confidential information to Detroit political consultant Sam Riddle while he was under criminal investigation, people familiar with the investigation said Monday.

Wendolyn Greene, formerly Wendolyn Johnson, answered “no” Monday when asked if she still worked for the federal prosecutor’s office in Detroit, where she was a paralegal in the special prosecutions unit. She then hung up her home phone.

“We had an employee by that name; I don’t know her status,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Gina Balaya said Monday when asked about Greene. Balaya later called back to clarify, saying Greene “is still an employee of this office.” Beyond that, “we can’t discuss her status at all,” she said.

People familiar with the investigation said the controversy arose about a year ago, close to the time that news of the Synagro Technologies Inc. bribery scandal became public. Riddle had dated Greene and federal officials suspected he got information from her relevant to an ongoing federal investigation, sources said.

For Full Story