Thursday, July 26, 2012

Former Chief Information Officer for Wayne County Pleads Guilty to Accepting $70,000 in Bribes from a Private Contractor

Tahir Kazmi, the former chief information officer for Wayne County pleaded guilty today to taking bribes from a private contractor, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Edward Hanko, Interim Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

During a hearing this afternoon before United States District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III, Kazmi, 49 of Rochester Hills, Michigan, admitted that between 2009 and 2011, he accepted bribes from a private contractor in the form of cash; trips to Hawaii, Turkey, and Florida; and other things of value all totaling approximately $70,000. The private contractor who paid the bribes to Kazmi had multi-million-dollar technology contracts with Wayne County. During this period of time, Kazmi was responsible for approving and overseeing the private contractor’s work for Wayne County. Kazmi admitted that the bribes from the contractor influenced his decision-making as a county official. Kazmi also admitted that he obstructed justice during the course of the FBI’s investigation of his crimes. He faces a sentencing enhancement because of this obstruction.

Based on his guilty plea and felony conviction for accepting bribes, Kazmi is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

As part of his plea agreement with the government, Kazmi has agreed to cooperate fully with the federal authorities’ investigation of corruption within the Wayne County government.

United States Attorney McQuade said, “The citizens of our community deserve honest government, and we will continue to investigate corruption in city, county, state, or federal government. Public officials should be on notice that illegal conduct will be detected and prosecuted.”

Edward Hanko, Interim Special Agent in Charge of the FBI said, “Those trusted public officials who choose to abuse their power and influence in government by accepting illegal bribes and gifts must answer for their actions. Taxpayers of Wayne County deserve trustworthy leaders and the FBI-led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force remains committed to holding public officials accountable and rooting out corruption.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI and Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David A. Gardey and Gjon Juncaj.

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