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Press Release

Detroit City Council Member Indicted for Taking Bribes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

Today a federal grand jury indicted Detroit City Council Member Gabriel Leland, 35, of Detroit, with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced. 

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the Indictment, beginning in May 2017, and continuing through August 2017, Councilman Leland conspired with Elisa Grubbs, a campaign worker, to solicit and accept bribes consisting of $15,000 in cash and free auto body work from a local business owner.  The indictment further alleges that Leland agreed to help delay or prevent the City’s sale of property that the business owner believed he owned in exchange for the bribes.  Leland is charged with taking a $7,500 cash bribe on

August 4, 2017, just four days before the primary election for Detroit City Council.

United States Attorney Schneider stated, “A sitting member of the Detroit City Council engaging in bribery is an extreme breach of the trust of the people of Detroit that badly undermines their faith in local government.  As was starkly demonstrated by the prosecution of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and several corrupt members of his Administration, federal law enforcement is dedicated to rooting out and severely punishing corruption at every level of City governance.”

“The public demands and is entitled to honest public servants. Today’s indictment of Detroit City Council Member Gabriel Leland underscores the fact that individuals who hold a position of public trust - and who betray that trust - will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater, FBI Detroit. “The FBI is committed to aggressively investigating allegations of public corruption. If you are aware of a government official engaging in illegal conduct, I encourage you to notify the FBI’s multi-agency Public Corruption Task Force.”

Leland faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for each bribery count, and up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the bribery conspiracy count.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Michael Bullotta and Steven Cares.

Updated October 10, 2018

Public Corruption