Former Detroit Deputy Chief Pleads Guilty To Bribery Charges

A former Detroit Police deputy chief pleaded guilty to bribery charges in court.

​Detroit, MI – Former Detroit Deputy Police Chief Celia Washington wept in court as she pleaded guilty to bribery on Tuesday.

When she accepted the bribe, Washington was the legal adviser to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, and her responsibilities included overseeing the Detroit Police Department’s permitting, licensing, and use of private towing companies, the Detroit Free Press reported.

She was accused of taking $3,000 in cash in an envelope from towing company owner Gasper Fiore for helping him get a good spot on the city’s towing rotation in 2015.

Chief Craig was not involved in the scandal.

"I'm a lawyer. I should have known better," Washington said.

In court, Washington wouldn’t say that she took that $3,000 knowing Fiore wanted something in return, and said she initially thought it was a loan.

Washington told the court Fiore was a friend, and claimed she had asked him for an $800 loan two-and-a-half years earlier.

But prosecutors presented evidence that Washington spent some of the $3,000, and that she was caught on a wiretap apologizing to Fiore after he lost out on a city towing deal.

“I hope you’re not mad at me,” Washington told Fiore on the wiretap. “I tried to help you.”

She told the court she had no authority over the towing rotation, and that she did no favors for Fiore. She also claimed she tried to pay back the “loan,” but that Fiore wouldn’t accept the money.

"Please accept my plea," Washington said through tears in court. "I can't risk, judge, to be away from my children. I can't. I can't."

But her refusal to admit to the crime was a problem for U.S. District Judge David Lawson, who at first refused to accept the plea bargain deal.

After a brief court recess, Washington came back into the courtroom and read a statement that satisfied the judge, according to the Detroit Free Press.

In the statement, Washington admitted to taking money from Fiore in 2015, "realizing soon after" that he was trying to influence her. She also admitted to spending some of the money.

She faces 18 to 24 months in prison under the plea deal.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Washington resigned from her job at the Detroit Police Department in June, after top brass learned she was under investigation for her ties to Fiore.

Fiore pleaded guilty to bribing a Macomb County official in December. He faces up to five years in prison.

Washington and Fiore were both targets of a public corruption investigation that focused primarily on Macomb County, landing two millionaires in federal court, and charging 18 defendants with crimes.

The Detroit Free Press reported that 14 of the 18 defendants have pleaded guilty so far.

Comments
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Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

At least she owned what she did though saying it was a loan was ridiculous. You have to be so careful to avoid even the appearance of doing something wrong. Her reputation is shot for $3,000. She'll never get a job in the public sector and others will always mistrust her. It wasn't worth it.

Joel3
Joel3

@BurgessKrell for a guy from Stanford with a Grad School — Psychology and Political science degree as you claim on facebook, you sure sound retarded. https://www.facebook.com/burgess.krell

BurgessKrell
BurgessKrell

General population... and brand her as a pedophile, too. Make her life interesting... for as brief as it will be.

Sfdcapt
Sfdcapt

Prosecute her to the max... we cannot have dishonest police on our payrolls !!!!

RunCop
RunCop

Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa

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