Developer admits bribing this Taylor mayor, who goes on trial in January

October 22, 2021, 1:07 PM

Three months before Taylor's mayor is due to go on trial for alleged corruption, federal prosecutors gain a guilty plea related to that case.

Mayor Rick Sollars isn't smiling now.

A Downriver real estate mogul admits bribing Mayor Rick Sollars, The Detroit News reports.

Shady Awad, 41, of Allen Park, pleaded guilty to bribery conspiracy, a five-year felony, almost two years after he was charged alongside Sollars in an alleged conspiracy involving bribes, luxury items and tax-foreclosed properties. ... In return, federal prosecutors agreed to drop seven bribery counts, each of which could have sent Awad to prison for 10 years. ...

It was unclear whether he will cooperate against Sollars and [suspended community development manager Jeffrey] Baum and testify in January during the corruption trial. A fourth defendant, Taylor party store owner Hadir Altoon, is expected to plead guilty later this month.

Awad admits giving Sollars more than $53,000 in cash, over $12,000 in appliances and kitchen cabinets, and over $41,000 in upgrades to two of his homes. He also gave the suburban mayor gambling money when they visited Las Vegas.

Awad’s property company [Realty Transition] received more than 95 tax-foreclosed properties in Taylor for redevelopment. ...

In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors have agreed not to request a sentence of more than 46 months.

Federal courts reporter Robert Snell puts the case in broader context:

Awad is the latest person convicted in a more than decade-long crackdown on public corruption in Metro Detroit.

Since 2008, more than 100 politicians, union bosses, bureaucrats and police officers have been charged with corruption crimes and there are ongoing FBI investigations targeting Detroit City Council members and police personnel.

Read more:  The Detroit News

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