Former Robert Ficano appointee to be sentenced today for taking $13,000 in bribes [Detroit Free Press]
(Detroit Free Press (MI) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 27--David Edwards, a former appointee of Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, is scheduled to be sentenced this morning for taking $13,000 in bribes from a county vendor.
Edwards, who was a division director in the county's information technology department, pleaded guilty in May 2012 to taking the money from Philip Shisha. Shisha's company, Strategic Business Partners, received millions in county contracts, much of it without bidding.
Edwards' conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but prosecutors have recommended he receive no more than 15 months. U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy is scheduled to sentence Edwards at 10 a.m.
"A sentence of imprisonment would demonstrate that no one is above the law, no matter their position as a government official," Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey wrote in a memo to the court Aug. 14.
Gardey went on to note that "Edwards has demonstrated sincere and genuine remorse and acceptance of responsibility."
Edwards, 43, of Detroit worked for the county from 2002 until he resigned for what he called personal reasons in April 2012. He made $110,000 annually.
Edwards' wife, Victoria, also is a Ficano appointee and makes $105,000 annually.
Edwards was charged with bribery on May 8, 2012, and pleaded guilty two weeks later.
In the trial of another county IT employee, Zayd Allebban, Shisha testified that Edwards demanded the money. He said he gave Edwards $6,000 in cash around March 2009 and another $7,000 in cash around April 2011.
The Free Press has reported that Shisha's company, formed in 2004, grew quickly through the help of county work. His initial contract with the county in 2005 was for $225,000, but the county eventually awarded him more than $26 million in work.
State records show Shisha contributed $26,000 to Ficano's political action committee between 2008 and 2011.
He also received no-bid work for the county Land Bank when it was run by controversial former Chief Development Officer Turkia Awada Mullin.
Edwards is the second former Ficano appointee to face sentencing.
Earlier this month, Murphy sentenced Allebban to 41 months in prison for obstruction of justice. Allebban was convicted by jury of creating bogus receipts to cover up bribe payments Shisha made to Allebban's former boss, Tahir Kazmi. Kazmi also has pleaded guilty to bribery and is set for sentencing in December.
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