DETROIT (WWJ) – Three people have been formally charged in connection with the failed Wayne County Jail project in Detroit.
Carla Sledge, Steven Collins and Anthony Parlovecchio all entered not guilty pleas during an arraignment Tuesday morning.
Sledge and Collins, who are charged with misconduct and neglect of duty, were granted $1,000 bonds and are due back in court on Sept. 26. A court date has not yet been set for Parlovecchio, who is charged with a misdemeanor count of willful neglect of duty.
Harold Gurewitz, Sledge’s attorney, said the case against the trio seems thin at this point.
“The charging document provides little detail of what the case is really all about. We’ll wait to find that out when we receive information from the prosecutor’s office that apparently this is based upon and then we’ll proceed to present a vigorous defense,” Gurewitz told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
The 2,000-bed facility on the northeastern edge of downtown Detroit was only partially finished when construction was halted. It was $91 million over its $220 million construction budget.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy asked for a one-man grand jury to investigate the jail debacle last September. The grand jury reviewed 140,000 pages of documents, which led to the indictment.
Prosecutors say 62-year-old Sledge, the former Chief Financial Officer for Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, 53-year-old Collins, a former board member for the Wayne County Building Authority, and 65-year-old Parlovecchio, a contractor who previously worked as a Wayne County appointee under former economic development czar Turkia Mullin, lied to the county commission with regard to the status of the building of the jail.
Touting the project in 2012, Ficano said the new jail was expected to save the county $20 million a year, when it opened in 2014, consolidating three county jail facilities.