Detroit public works official pleads guilty to corruption

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A longtime public works official in suburban Detroit pleaded guilty Tuesday to threatening to hold up permits for a developer unless he purchased tickets for a political fundraiser.

Anthony Marrocco’s conviction for attempted extortion was a big catch for federal prosecutors. He was the powerful head of the Macomb County public works department until voters chose Candice Miller in 2016.

Marrocco, who was in office for more than 20 years, had broad authority over sewer lines, water and infrastructure in the growing county. He likely faces more than a year in prison.

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A Detroit public works official has pleaded guilty to corruption after threatening to hold up permits for a developer if he didn't buy tickets to a political fundraiser.

A Detroit public works official has pleaded guilty to corruption after threatening to hold up permits for a developer if he didn’t buy tickets to a political fundraiser.

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“This conviction symbolizes our yearslong crackdown on corruption in Macomb County that has helped to further the rule of law and good government for the county’s citizens,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said.

Marrocco’s right-hand man, Dino Bucci, pleaded guilty in 2020. He said he forced contractors to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fatten Marrocco’s campaign accounts — or face consequences. Bucci died in March.

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Roughly two dozen officials and businessmen have been convicted in the government’s Macomb County corruption investigation, from elected township leaders to an elected prosecutor, Ison’s office said.

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