by ANDREW NEAL
Sitting Macomb Township trustee and former Department of Public Works operations manager Dino Bucci has become a key target in the ever-evolving federal corruption case involving pay-to-play bribery in Macomb County.
In a letter written in February but made public this week, DPW Commissioner Candice Miller informed Bucci that he was under investigation for “corruption, extortion, bullying and unethical behavior.”
The letter alleges that while Bucci was employed at the DPW, he orchestrated pay-to-play bribes between contractors and then-head of DPW Anthony Marrocco. It also accuses Bucci of directing other Public Works employees to perform tasks for the benefit of himself, his family, and close friends. The alleged tasks include snow removal, landscaping, moving furniture, purchasing boots for his son, relocating a female acquaintance from Ohio to Michigan, access to county cell phones, and repairing a golf cart with public funds.
Miller’s letter also accuses Bucci of using his time at Public Works to conduct business as a Macomb Township trustee.
The February letter warned Bucci that he could be disciplined or fired over these allegations, and Bucci resigned from his job at DPW shortly after.
While Bucci has not been charged with a crime, he is facing a pending civil lawsuit in federal court, according to the Free Press, where he is accused of extorting a contractor.
“I am very troubled by the most recent charges levied by the U.S. Attorney once again indicating systemic corruption in our Township Government,” said Macomb Township trustee Tim Bussineau in a public statement.
“I need your help now more then ever to be the voice you deserve. We need to send a clear message that residents demand immediate transparent, legal, accountable and honest government,” Bussineau said. “I’ve been working towards honest government since the day I was elected however demands for change from this board have been met with isolation, ridicule, and personal attacks.”
The news of Miller’s February letter comes on the heels of the federal government snagging its 14th defendant in the Rizzo corruption case, which exposed Bucci’s suspected involvement. The contractor allegedly gave cash kickbacks to Bucci, including a series of transactions that totaled $66,000 cash, according to the Free Press.
Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn responded to the news, adding that she was unaware of the allegations until recently.
“I am very disappointed to learn of the allegations associated with this report. If a Board member did engage in the type of activity reported, that is a breach of that Board member’s duties. I can assure you that the Supervisor’s office had no knowledge of this activity until today,” Dunn said in an email to the Free Press.
Dunn went on to say the “Supervisor’s office has instructed the appropriate individuals to further investigate this allegation, and I continue to encourage all township personnel to cooperate fully with any law enforcement investigation.”