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Detroit Launches Investigation Into Water Dept. Corruption

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DETROIT (WWJ) - The Detroit City Council has endorsed an effort by the City Water Board to find out if there was any wrongdoing related to bids for work during the Kilpatrick administration.

Detroit’s lead attorney Krystal Crittendon says the Water Board has approved a $250,000 contract with the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone to investigate the possibility of recovering funds for the city. Attorneys will determine if Detroit will file a lawsuit against the city’s former mayor Kilpatrick or other defendants in the water department big-rigging corruption case.

“The Detroit Board of Water Commissioners will be funding the investigation. If any money is recovered it will go back to the Board of Water Commissioners fund, the water fund. It will not go into the general fund,” Crittendon said.

“They have already approved the expenditure, the $250,000 expenditure for the investigation.  And, there are a number of claims and theories that might be advanced against some of these people,” she said.

Council President Charles Pugh says the investigation will protect the city’s interests.

“Let’s say it was found that whoever was the Mayor at the time had something to do with misuse of public funds. So, perhaps there could be a lawsuit against the Mayor. Or, perhaps there could be a lawsuit against the contractor who willingly accepted the contract that wasn’t a valid contact. Or, if there was just any funny business,” Pugh said.

The federal trial against Kilpatrick and his co-defendants is scheduled to begin next year.

Meantime, Kilpatrick is awaiting release from prison in early August. He’s been behind bars for more than a year on a parole violation connected to the text-messaging scandal. (Catch up on this story).

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