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Detroit City Council member Gabe Leland indicted on bribery charges

Detroit City Council

Detroit City Council member Gabe Leland was indicted on bribery-related charges Thursday.

A federal grand jury indicted Leland on two counts of bribery, and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

The alleged scheme started in May 2017. It involves Detroit business owner Robert Carmack, who’s also accused Leland of bribery in a federal lawsuit.

Carmack is not named in the indictment, but the details of the scheme match up with the allegations made in his lawsuit.

According to the indictment, Leland conspired with a campaign worker to solicit a $15,000 cash bribe and free car repair work from Carmack.

In return, Leland allegedly promised to help hold up or prevent the city from selling property Carmack believes is rightfully his.

Carmack went to the FBI. He then allegedly wore a wire as he paid a $7,500 bribe to Leland’s campaign staffer in August 2017, just days before a City Council primary election.

In a statement, Leland’s attorney, Steve Fishman, reportedly calls the accusations in the indictment “old news.”

Leland is the son of the late former state senator and Wayne County commissioner Burton Leland.

If convicted, Leland faces up to a possible 25 years in prison. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 11.

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.