City of Detroit
Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland.
Former Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland dodged jail time and was ordered to serve two-and-a-half years of probation on a felony count of misconduct in office.
Leland, who resigned from office about a month ago, was facing up to five years in prison. He pleaded guilty on May 3.
“I helped a lot of people along the way, but I crossed the line,” Leland said during the sentencing hearing. “I crossed the line, and I apologize to my constituents, to the residents of the city of Detroit, and to my family.”
Leland’s attorney Steve Fishman requested one year of probation and claimed the media sensationalized the allegations against Leland.
“Despite the continued efforts by the media to make a huge mountain out of a small mole hill … we’re here because Mr. Leland foolishly decided to accept a campaign donation in cash,” Fishman said.
Third Circuit Judge Gregory Bill said a year of probation “would be a mere slap on the hand and would violate the people’s trust.”
Leland was charged with misconduct in office in July for accepting a $7,500 bribe and free car repairs from businessman Bob Carmack in exchange for helping him in a land deal dispute with Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration.
In October 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Leland on bribery charges. The case was moved to state court, and the federal charges will be dismissed.
The judge urged Leland to make better choices in the future.
“We all make bad decisions sometimes,” Bill said. “It’s whether we learn from those decisions as we go forward if it means anything.”
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