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Ex-Wayne County Official Pleads Guilty To Bribery Charge

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Another former Wayne County government official has pleaded guilty to corruption charges as part of a growing federal probe.

Former chief information officer Tahir Kazmi, 49, of Rochester Hills, is one of several high-ranking officials who once worked for Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.

In federal court Wednesday, Kazmi told the judge he’s on a daily dose of anti-depressants, but he’s well aware of what his plea will mean.

Kazmi admitted to accepting bribes that included cash, along with trips to Turkey, Hawaii  and Florida — all in exchange for agreeing to use his influence to secure multi-million dollar vendor contracts.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said, all in total, the gifts were worth about $70,000.

The government is recommending a 5- to 6-year prison sentence in exchange for Kazmi’s plea.  As part of the deal, Kazmi has reportedly agreed to cooperate with the FBI in their investigation of other top officials.

Kazmi has also agreed to let the government keep $35,000 that they seized from him during the investigation.

“Those trusted public officials who choose to abuse their power and influence in government by accepting illegal bribes and gifts must answer for their actions,” said Edward Hanko, Interim Special Agent in Charge of the FBI. “Taxpayers of Wayne County deserve
trustworthy leaders and the FBI led Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force remains committed to holding public officials accountable and rooting out corruption.”

Earlier this year, Kazmi was charged with extortion and obstruction of justice. He quit his job in February.

This latest development comes as the feds continue to investigate Ficano over a $200,000 severance payout to another former county employee. Ficano maintains that he has done nothing wrong and does not intend to step down.

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