Former Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci, whose name surfaced often in the FBI's ongoing probe into public corruption in the county, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to being the bagman for hundreds of thousands of dollars for his boss at his fulltime job at the Macomb County Public Works Office.
His criminal activity spanned more than two decades, authorities charged that
Bucci admitted acting at the direction of his County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco to extort builders and contractors to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of tickets to Marrocco’s political fundraisers, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit said.
Marrocco, authorities charge, directed Bucci to communicate to the builders and contractors that if they didn't spend enough on tickets, they's suffer severe economic consequences including the delaying of required permits.
Bucci also was a Macomb Township trustee, an elected position that was part-time. He also admitted conspiring with contractor Chris Sorrentino to overcharge $96,000 for paving work at township properties. Sorrentino then kicked back tens of thousands of dollars in cash to Bucci.
The plea spells bad news for Marrocco, whose federal indictment was unsealed this week, charging him with crimes Bucci has now admitted to being a part of. Federal court documents show that Bucci is cooperating with the FBI, and his guilty plea may put more pressure on Marrocco to do the same.
Under the plea agreement, Bucci must fully reimburse Macomb Township for money he stole.
Bucci, who is set to be sentenced Oct. 1, faces up to 10 years in prison. But Assistant Prosecutor Michael Bullotta told U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland he'd recomend the lower end of the sentencing range because of the defendant's health, according to The Detroit News.
"Bucci’s guilty plea further exposes a decades-long pattern of corruption and illegal activity within Macomb County’s elected government,” Steven M. D’Antuono, head of the Detroit FBI, said in a statement. “The citizens of Macomb County deserve better."