State Charges Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland with Misconduct in Office

July 17, 2020, 1:15 PM by  Allan Lengel


Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland, who has been under federal indictment for bribery, was charged Friday in state court with misconduct in office.

As a result, the more serious federal bribery charges filed in 2018 are likely to be dropped.

The state accuses Leland, 37, of accepting $7,500 in political donations in cash.

"The councilman accepted a campaign contribution in cash, which is against the law," Leland's attorney Steve Fishman tells Deadline Detroit. "I am happy that we were able to reach a resolution of this case in state court."

While Fishman declined to comment further, his remarks indicate a plea agreement has been reached. It's unclear if Leland will be forced to resign.

The felony state charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Leland did not return calls for comment.

The deal appeared to be the best Leland could have hoped for under the circumstances, moving the case out of federal court. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit, which indicted Leland on bribe charges, did not immediately return a call for comment. 

The state charges were filed by the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office in Wayne County Circuit Court. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office recused itself because of a conflict of interest involving a key player in the Leland case. 

In October 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Leland for conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery.

Federal authorities alleged that Leland allegedly conspired with campaign worker Elisa Grubbs to solicit and accept $15,000 in cash and free auto body work from local business owner Bob Carmack. Leland received half that payment in cash. 

For the payment, the feds alleged that Leland agreed to help delay or prevent the city's sale of property the business owner believed he owned. 

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