The former elected Supervisor of Chesterfield Township was indicted by a grand jury yesterday on four counts of conspiracy and demanding bribes in exchange for corruptly influencing his decisions as a supervisor in connection with the township’s business United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios and Manny J. Muriel, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office.
Michael Lovelock, 57, of New Baltimore, is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, including demanding and accepting money and other things of value, in exchange for official acts as the township supervisor. The indictment of Lovelock is part of an ongoing and long-running investigation into systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County.
The indictment charges that over the course of six years while he served as Supervisor, Lovelock conspired with a representative of a company having business with Chesterfield Township, and that Lovelock accepted bribes on multiple occasions from that company representative and an undercover FBI agent. Lovelock accepted bribes amounting to $30,000 in cash between 2010 and 2016. In exchange, Lovelock voted in favor of a contract for the company, and he agreed to put past due amounts owed to the company by township residents on the township tax bills of those residents in order to assist the company in collecting money. In addition, Lovelock sought reimbursement from Macomb County for the company’s work cleaning up following a flood in Chesterfield. In 2016, Lovelock accepted a $1,500 cash bribe from an undercover FBI agent. Lovelock also is charged with accepting an additional $2,500 cash bribe from the company representative after that individual began cooperating with the FBI.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI Detroit Area Corruption Task Force, a multiagency task force led by the FBI Detroit Division and comprised of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Michigan State Police, Michigan Attorney General’s Office, and several other local and federal law enforcement agencies. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys R. Michael Bullotta and David A. Gardey.
Upon conviction for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666, federal program bribery, Lovelock faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the three counts of bribery in the indictment. Upon conviction for a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, conspiracy, Lovelock faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on this count of the indictment.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.
The FBI requests that anyone having information regarding public officials accepting bribes is encouraged to contact the Detroit Division of the FBI at 313-965-2222.