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Press Release

Former Wayne County Chief Information OfficerSentenced To Prison For Taking $70,000 In Bribes

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

The former Chief Information Officer of the Wayne County government was sentenced to 57 months in prison today for taking $70,000 in bribes from a businessman who had millions of dollars in contracts with Wayne County, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. 

McQuade was joined in the announcement by FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate.

During a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III, Tahir Kazmi, 49, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, was sentenced to 57 months in prison, a $15,000 fine, and a term of supervised release based on his plea of guilty to accepting bribes.  Kazmi, a political appointee in the Wayne County government, had accepted cash, trips to Hawaii, Turkey, and Florida, and other things of value totaling $70,000 between 2009 and 2011 from a county IT contractor, who was overseen by Kazmi.  After Kazmi learned that the FBI was investigating Wayne County corruption, Kazmi engaged in a conspiracy with Wayne County appointee Zayd Allebban in an effort to obstruct justice and to cover up the bribes received by Kazmi.    

Thus far in the investigation of corruption in the Wayne County government, five men have been convicted of either corruption or obstructing the investigation.  Defendant Zayd Allebban was sentenced to 41 months in prison on September 6, 2013.  Defendant David Edwards, Kazmi’s Deputy Chief Information Officer was sentenced to 12 months in prison on September 27, 2013.  The other two convicted defendants, Michael Grundy and Keith Griffin have yet to be sentenced.

United States Attorney McQuade said, “The court’s sentence today sends a strong message that public officials who use their positions of trust to personally profit will be punished.  Public officials should serve the interests of the people, not their own interests.”

"Government officials who breach the public trust for their own selfish purposes, and in this instance conspire with others in an attempt to cover up their criminal activity, will continue to be pursued aggressively and brought to justice," said Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. "Today's sentence sends another message that public servants are entrusted to serve the public, not themselves."

The case was investigated by agents of the FBI.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David A. Gardey and Gjon Juncaj.

Updated March 19, 2015