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Flint mayor plans to 'look into' allegations against city's trash contract bidder

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A garbage company involved in Flint’s trash pickup dispute is reportedly linked to a federal corruption probe in Macomb County.

The Detroit Free Press reports federal prosecutors believe a Clinton Township official was allegedly bribed by an official with Rizzo Environmental Services in an effort to get a multi-million-dollar garbage contract.

Rizzo issued a statement only saying the company is cooperating with federal officials.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says the city is “looking into” the allegation.  But she cautioned against jumping to any conclusions based on a newspaper article.

Weaver had a succinct answer when asked if Rizzo officials had ever bribed her, or anyone else in Flint, in hopes of winning the city’s trash contract.

“No,” Weaver told reporters, “but I can’t speak for anybody else, but I hope not.”

Eric Mays is the only Flint city councilman to support Rizzo’s bid to handle Flint’s trash for the next three years. Mays says no one offered him a bribe for his support. The outspoken city councilman says he has long supported a more open, transparent process for selecting city contractors.

Thursday, a majority of the Flint city council once again voiced its support for Republic Services as the city’s trash hauler.

For months, both sides have maintained their choice submitted the lowest qualified bid. 

Rizzo and Republic Services continue to empty Flint’s trash cans as city leaders and the courts try to agree on which company should get the contract.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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