Ex-Kilpatrick aide investigated in Camp Brighton bribe case

Ex-cop set to plead guilty to bribery conspiracy charge
BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
A federal corruption probe is now branching into the city of Detroit’s sale of real estate properties and several more city officials may be ensnared in the scandal.

This afternoon, an ex-Detroit police officer, Jerry Rivers, is scheduled to plead guilty to a bribery conspiracy charge in connection with the city of Detroit’s sale of Camp Brighton to a church in 2007. Rivers worked on Kilpatrick’s security detail.
Kandia Milton, a former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick aide who rose to deputy mayor and served as mayor for one day when Kilpatrick went to jail, appears to be involved in the investigation, according to court documents.

The Detroit City Council narrowly approved in 2007 the sale of Camp Brighton, a more than 160-acre parcel of city-owned land in Livingston County.

The Chaldean Catholic Church of the United States purchased the property for $3.5 million. At one time, the land had been a summer camp and campground for Detroit residents.

Documents in U.S. District Court in Detroit charge that Rivers helped facilitate the sale of the camp and received $50,000 through a middleman. The $50,000 was intended for Rivers and two unnamed city officials, the documents say.

The documents describe the city officials as “City Officials C&D” and say: “From about November 2006 to about June 2007 City Officials C&D used their positions in the city administration to advocate that the administration and City Council approve the sale of Camp Brighton to the nonprofit entity.”

Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, would not disclose the identity of the city officials in question.

The federal documents allege “City Official C” received $20,000 and gave $1,000 to a middleman, and Rivers received $20,000, but later gave $500 to a middleman who assisted in obtaining and disbursing the checks. City Official D received $10,000, according to the documents.

According to the documents, “City Official C” sent a letter to the City Council on May 25, 2007, recommending the sale.

Milton sent a letter on the same date requesting that the city consider the purchase. It’s unknown whether any other city officials sent similar letters the same day.

Milton, who has not been charged with a crime, declined comment when contacted by the Free Press today.

The Rev. Manuel Boji, the Chaldean Church spokesman in Southfield, said he’s not concerned about the charges.

“The church did not pay any bribes for sure,” Boji said today. “We bought it officially.”

Wayne County prosecutors revealed during a hearing last month that Milton’s mother paid $12,500 toward Kilpatrick’s restitution to the city for his criminal conviction.

Milton’s brother, DeDan Milton, also worked as an assistant to Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick testified during the Nov. 18 hearing that he thought the Miltons’ mother, Sandra Ramsey, loaned him only $10,000. He learned from prosecutors that an additional $2,500 he thought DeDan Milton had loaned him had actually come from Ramsey.

http://www.freep.com/article/20091204/NEWS01/91204023/1319/Ex-cop-set-to-plead-guilty-to-bribery-conspiracy-charge-in-camp-sale