Detroit DRAMA: Feds Investigating Emerging Major Duggan Corruption Scandal?!
By Brandon Hall
(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)
Looks like drama is abound in "The D."
Charlie LaDeff is at it again, this time, exposing what could prove to be a blockbuster corruption scandal inside the administration of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
LaDeff is focusing on significant irregularities within the city's $100 million blight project. The money is funded through a federal grant, and some contractors tell LaDeff they have been interviewed by federal authorities investigating abuse of the program.
"The city of Detroit has more than $100 million in federal
money to bust blight in the city. When Mayor Mike Duggan took office, he
promised city residents he would take care of everything.
But the numbers, frankly, don't add up.
Everyone loves a good comeback. Mayor Duggan's office says it's tearing down
nasty, decrepit houses in Detroit cheaper and quicker than expected; leading
many to think a comeback is coming faster.
Until Charlie LeDuff looked at the numbers.
Charlie submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to
check on the blight that the city says it's busting. He wanted the numbers,
addresses, costs, etc. and he wanted to compare to previous administrations. He
got it, eventually.
First, a spreadsheet that said the city knocked over 3,000
structures in two years. That's no better than Dave Bing.
Then another spreadsheet that said 1,000 structures were
torn down but it didn't show the cost.
Finally, a third spreadsheet came in that shows 6,300
structures were torn down. All that one showed about the buildings were the
Clear as mud.
OK. So how much did it cost to tear down each house? Under
Bing, it was $10,000 per home. The first year under Duggan, it was over
$13,000. By year two, it was $16,000.
No matter which number is right, it appears Detroit has not
torn down any more buildings than they did during the days of Mayor Bing.
We took a look at 50 demolition bids. In more than 20 percent
of the time, the contractor who the city judged to be the best and who had also
bid the lowest price, didn't get the job. If that seems odd, it's because it
Three contractors we talked with said they've had
conversations about it with federal authorities.
Either way, demo work in Detroit is happening. However, the
city says it has completed 150 per week, which isn't true. At best, it's half
that as the price has spiked through the roof.
So Charlie took on City Hall. To get some answers. Well, he
tried to get some answers..."
WXYZ also reports of inflated prices for wooden stakes used to mark problematic homes.
"In a post bankrupt Detroit, every dollar counts. That's why when we discovered what seemed to be an unusually high price tag for wooden stakes, we wanted to know why.
The City of Detroit is tearing down thousands of homes in its fight against blight. After the house is knocked down, contractors are now required to use specially made wooden stakes to secure the safety fencing.
Brian Farkas with the Detroit Building Authority says it adds about $60.00 per demo.
In a city that is tearing down thousands of homes, $60.00 per demo adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in added cost.