DETROIT (WWJ) – Extortion charges have been filed against a former Wayne County official entrusted with operating a health care program for low-income, uninsured workers throughout Metro Detroit.
Former Wayne County Assistant County Executive Michael Grundy was indicted Wednesday, accused of receiving kickbacks in connection with his position as Executive Director of HealthChoice of Michigan. He’s charged with conspiracy, fraud and extortion.
According to the 25-count Federal Indictment, Grundy conspired to bilk HealthChoice for more than $1 million through a series of kickback contracts with corporations doing business with the program, which he set up.
The indictment also charges that Grundy used his position to enrich himself and a friend, Keith Griffin, ”by using deception and fear” to extort a company that had contracts with HealthChoice.
“This case is another example that those who obstruct justice will be charged not only for their acts of corruption, but also for the
cover-up,” said Attorney Barbara McQuade. “I hope that these charges encourage others to cooperate with the FBI in this investigation.”
Grundy was placed on administrative leave last October after reports surfaced that the FBI was investigating Grundy and his dealings with Pro Health Care Plan. When he was fired from the county in November, Wayne County Executive Roberto Ficano said Grundy had not been cooperating with an internal investigation.
Wednesday afternoon, Ficano released the following statement reacting to the charges against his former employee:
“I am extremely angry at the betrayal demonstrated by an individual who was in a position of trust, if these allegations are true. Mr. Grundy was terminated from the county on Nov. 7 of last year. Based on our own internal review of the situation and our cooperation with the federal investigation, this was not unexpected. Again, if these charges prove true, he should be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law. We will continue to cooperate fully with federal authorities.”
If convicted, Grundy faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count.