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Press Release

Former Chief Engineer for Macomb County Public Works Department Pleads Guilty to Bribery Conspiracy

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

A former Chief Engineer for Macomb County’s Public Works Department, James Pistilli, 68, of Holly, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bribery, Acting United States Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch announced. 


Lemisch was joined in the announcement by David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service.


The charge to which Pistilli pleaded guilty occurred in 2014.  At that time, Pistilli worked for a private engineering firm.  Pistilli conspired with fellow engineer Paulin Modi and others to pay a $2,000 cash bribe to Steven Hohensee, who was then the Superintendent of the Department of Public Works for Washington Township.  Unbeknownst to Pistilli, Hohensee was cooperating with the FBI.


Pistilli is scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2018 at 1:30 p.m., and faces up to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.


This case is part of the government’s wide-ranging corruption investigation centered in Macomb County, Michigan.  The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. Gardey and R. Michael Bullotta

Updated September 27, 2017

Public Corruption