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Former Detroit asbestos-removal contractor going to trial

A demolition on Detroit's east side.
Sarah Hulett
Michigan Radio

The owner of an asbestos abatement company that worked for Detroit’s demolition program will go to trial on multiple charges, the Michigan Attorney General’s office has announced.

Kevin Woods owns BBEK Environmental, a company that was sub-contracted to remove asbestos from demolished homes by the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Woods is accused of bribing an employee of Adamo Group, a demolition contractor, to win abatement contracts. That employee, Aradondo Haskins, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

BBEK then allegedly failed to do proper post-demolition air quality monitoring. According to the Attorney General’s office, rather than using an independent third party as required by law, Woods used companies that he actually controlled himself.

Finally, Woods is accused of falsifying project costs in reports to the state. By underreporting those costs, he was able to keep money that would have otherwise gone to a state asbestos abatement fund.

Woods has been suspended from doing work in Detroit since 2019. Since then, the city’s massive demolition program, which has taken down 23,000 vacant homes during Mayor Mike Duggan’s nine years in office, has been transferred to direct city oversight.

The charges come as a result of an investigation by the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s office. The federal government helped monitor Detroit’s demolition program, which had been funded by money from the federal Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). That money ran out in 2020, and Detroit is now using a $250 million bond to reach Duggan’s aggressive demolition goals.

Attempts to reach Woods’ attorney were unsuccessful. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in circuit court on April 4.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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