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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey Sentenced To Prison For Bribery Conspiracy

DETROIT - Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey, 48, of Detroit, was sentenced to 24 months in prison today for conspiring with a member of his staff to commit bribery by accepting over $35,000 in bribe payments in connection with the City Council’s oversight of towing in Detroit, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison announced today.

According to court records, while serving as an elected member of the Detroit City Council, Andre Spivey accepted $35,900 from an undercover federal law enforcement officer and a confidential source of information for the FBI.  On eight separate occasions between February 2018 and February 2020, Spivey, or a member of his staff identified as “Public Official A,” accepted bribe payments amounting to thousands of dollars from the undercover agent or the confidential source, all in connection with towing issues pending before the City Council.  For example, on October 26, 2018, Spivey met with the undercover agent and the confidential source at the Side Street Diner in the City of Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  During that meeting, Spivey accepted $1,000 in cash from the undercover agent and another $1,000 in cash from the confidential source.  The payments were made to Spivey seeking Spivey’s assistance with a proposed towing ordinance pending before the City Council.  As another example of the corrupt payments, on February 21, 2020, the confidential source gave $8,000 in cash to Public Official A, and the undercover agent gave Public Official A $4,000 in cash.  Public Official A took the money knowing that it was given for the benefit of Spivey and in exchange for Spivey’s assistance with towing issues pending before the City Council.

Spivey served on the Detroit City Council from 2009 until September 2021, when he resigned from office immediately after pleading guilty in this case. 

Spivey was the first case charged and first conviction of the government’s investigation of corruption within the government and the Police Department of the City of Detroit relating to the towing industry and other matters.  So far, five men have been charged in the investigation, and two have pleaded guilty.  

Ison was joined in the announcement by Josh Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Michigan Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

United States Attorney Ison said, “Public corruption undermines the faith of the people in their leaders.  Public officials who take bribes will be punished, and I am determined to take every action to root out corruption within the City of Detroit or anywhere else in this district where we find it.”            

It is the mission of the FBI's Public Corruption Task Force to thoroughly investigate the conduct of elected officials who - like Mr. Spivey - abuse their positions of power and the public's trust for their own personal gain," said Josh P. Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit Field Office. "Today's sentencing serves as a warning to all public officials who allow greed to triumph over duty, that federal agents will never cease in their relentless pursuit for justice."

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Gardey and Frances Carlson.

Public Corruption
Updated January 19, 2022