Over the past month, two Cleveland newspapers reported on a major scandal involving former Cleveland Mayor Michael Whites administration. The alternative weekly Cleveland Scene and the citys mainstream daily, the Plain Dealer, each used confidential government documents as the center point of stories alleging that kickbacks and pay-to-play politics were standard operating procedure during Whites 12-year tenure.
With all of the dirt swirling around Detroit politics, why is News Hits dredging up buckeye muck?
To answer that question, we need to introduce you to Whites good buddy, Nate Gray. In a 2002 affidavit submitted by the FBI in an attempt to gain court approval for a wiretap, its alleged that Gray was the bag man for White, collecting bribes from contractors interested in obtaining city work. Cleveland Scene reports that Gray, during a meeting with a confidential informant monitored by the FBI, bragged to a businessman seeking a contract to provide Internet and wireless services to Cleveland schools that he could also deliver contracts with Detroit Public Schools.
Detroit is mine, he allegedly boasted, saying the contract is yours if you want it.
For the right price, of course.
So, have the feds been looking into goings-on at Detroit schools? We called FBI special agent Dawn Clenny to find out, but she wasnt much help.
If I had an investigation going on, I couldnt tell you, Clenny says.Send comments to [email protected]