Only in Detroit kids, only in Detroit. These items are gathered from local personalities, confidential sources, police blotters and water cooler scuttlebut. We have great confidence when we say these items constitute next week's news today.
Wheels, weed and weasels
Two more Detroit City Council members -- Scott Benson and Janeé Ayers -- may be on their way to federal court after FBI agents last week raided their homes and City Hall offices.
It has been widely reported that federal agents were seeking evidence in connection with a towing and kickback scam caught on telephone taps of convicted briber and towing titan Gasper Fiore.
That may be so. But there are other things caught on those wiretaps the feds are pursuing, sources tell us.
Weed, for instance. Weed sales. Weed licenses. Weed zoning. Did council members and others in municipal government barter their votes and support for cash?
Gasper Fiore, out of prison and enjoying a boozy afternoon last week, was reached by telephone the day the feds hit city hall.
Nicknamed the “Baron of Bribery” by prosecutors, Fiore's plea deal included his ongoing cooperation in wide ranging corruption cases.
When asked if he knew the government's endgame and who might be the ultimate targets, Fiore claimed no special relationship with the Department of Justice, saying simply: “I'd bet it grows up and out.”
More scandal brewing in DPD
Detroit Police Lt. Willie Duncan was charged last month with the alleged sexual assault of a female officer in February. You may not have heard about it because police officials decided to tell the public about the charges during the black hole time slot of Friday afternoon, where scandalous news goes to die.
Duncan is also under investigation for the rape of a second officer in May at an off-duty barbecue, police brass confirm, and first reported in this column space.
There is more: Deadline Detroit has learned that another female officer informed command staff in 2018 that her partner may have been sexually assaulted by Duncan.
That officer told us that not only did department command staff not interview her or take a statement after she told them of the potential assault, those same commanders and Duncan himself have all since received promotions.
No way in hell
The Rev. Jim Holley steps down next March as senior pastor of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit, after 50 years in the ministry.
While confirming his retirement, Rev. Holley put to rest rumors that he will be replaced by disgraced fromer Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was released from prison in January and has yet to apologize to the people of Detroit for stealing from them, much less confess his guilt at all.
“I counseled him when he got out of prison,” Holley said. “But there was never, ever a thought that he would follow me.”
Holley said a national search for his successor has been whittled down to two finalists: a pastor from Mississippi and a guy from New Jersey.
Kilpatrick delivered a sermon at Holley's church in June and married there the following month.
We're watching ... in the dark
One million people in Louisiana are without power in the wake of Hurricane Ida making landfall this week.
We wish them well.
Yet nobody seemed to give a shit last month when two million people in Michigan huddled around candles and watch their refrigerated food spoil after it rained a little bit.
That's how bad the power grid has degraded in the Wolverine State.
Also not giving a shit, it seems, were two power company executives, who instead of cancelling their vacations and hauling their asses back to the office, continued on, even posting pictures of their glamorous getaways on social media.
The pictures have since been taken down.
Power executives should know, whether we're sitting in the dark or not, we've got our eyes on you.
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