A federal raid at City Hall on Aug. 25 coincided with raids at the home of Councilman Scott Benson, at-large Councilwoman Janeé Ayers and their chiefs of staff, Carol Banks and Ricardo Silva, respectively. The searches were the latest development in a scandal that has led to bribery charges against District 4 incumbent Councilman André Spivey.
“The stench of public corruption hangs over City Hall, threatening to derail Detroit’s
comeback and undermine public confidence in government,” Elrick said. “If that is allowed to happen, faith in government will be lost. And when faith is gone, hope is next. And when hope is gone, we have nothing.”
Elrick on Wednesday shared his plan to revamp Detroit’s ethics division and how members of the board overseeing it are seated. He’s urging new requirements for financial disclosures and is proposing eliminating free vehicles for the city’s council members.
“It has been nearly 15 years since U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced an end to the ‘Culture of Corruption’ in Detroit. We even rewrote our constitution — the city charter — to help crack down on and remove unscrupulous public officials. Clearly, there is more work to be done,” Elrick said.
He wants the city council to take immediate action on the plan, “but since they failed to call for Gabe Leland to step down even after he admitted to misconduct in office when he reached a plea deal,” he believes the only way to get the implemented is to elect people who support the plan.
In June, Councilman Gabe Leland pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, resigned and was sentenced to two and a half years of probation.
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