Detroit councilmember Andre Spivey, staffer accused of taking $35K in bribes

July 28, 2021, 11:35 AM

Spivey advocates for a $250 million demolition bond proposal in 2019. (Photo: Violet Ikonomova)

Detroit City Councilmember Andre Spivey has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery after he and a staffer allegedly accepted more than $35,000 "with the intent to be influenced and rewarded in connection with upcoming votes."

The case against the third-term District 4 councilman was laid out in a charging document known as an information, meaning he's cooperating with prosecutors and is expected to plead guilty. The implicated staffer is described only as "public official A."

Spivey and his colleague took the payments between 2016 and 2020, the document says.

Spivey's lawyer Elliott Hall tells Deadline Detroit his client "did recieve the funds but never received any money in exchange for an official act."

"There was never any quid pro quo," he said, adding that Spivey always had the highest regard for the office. He declined to provide more details as to why Spivey received the money.

On Tuesday, he expressed surprise that Spivey was being charged because he's been "fully cooperating" with federal authorities for the past year. Before the charges were made public, Hall only told media outlets that Spivey took a $1,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent in 2018.

When reached by phone last month regarding this case, Spivey's chief of staff, Keith Jones, said he knew nothing about it.

Spivey is the second Detroit councilmember accused of bribery in the past three years. District 7's Gabe Leland resigned in May after pleading guilty to a reduced charge.

The councilmember is not seeking re-election in next week's primary. He initially said he planned to run instead for a citywide seat but abruptly pivoted in April, claiming he would leave office to attend law school.

Jones initially pulled petitions to run to replace him, but is not on the ballot either.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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