Public Integrity Unit Charges Former River Rouge City Council President With Accepting $5,000 BribeContact: John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
March 2, 2011
LANSING - Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Public Integrity Unit has filed a felony bribery charge against former River Rouge City Council President Anthony Laginess. The charge grew out of a Michigan State Police (MSP) investigation into the embezzlement of city funds by River Rouge's former prescription drug manager, Adam Korejsza, who allegedly bribed Laginess to secure a prescription drug contract with the city.
"Michigan cannot fully recover as long as public officials are lining their pockets and ignoring their duty to work for the people," said Schuette. "Eradicating corruption at all levels of government is a top priority. Nobody will get a free pass when they break the law."
"The Michigan State Police will continue to investigate and bring any cases of public corruption to the attention of the Attorney General," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the MSP. "Protecting Michigan citizens is our top priority and part of that includes holding public officials at any level of government accountable for their actions."
Korejsza's company, Manhattan Group, first approached River Rouge about securing a contract to serve as the city's prescription drug insurance manager in the fall of 2006. Manhattan Group later secured the contract and began serving the city in January 2007. Prior to the city council vote that fall granting the contract, Laginess, then the body's president, had expressed opposition to Korejsza's company receiving the contract. It is alleged that Laginess later accepted a $5,000 cash bribe from Korejsza before the vote. The following week, Laginess voted in favor of Korejsza's bid, with Manhattan Group being awarded the prescription drug contract.
Laginess faces one count of Public Officer Accepting Bribe, a 10-year felony. Laginess was arrested March 1, 2011, in Indialantic, Florida and was held at Brevard County Jail until Judge Michael Ciungian, of Michigan's 26th District Court in Rover Rouge, issued a bond of $10,000. Laginess posted bond and was released. He is scheduled to return to Michigan for a formal arraignment on March 10, 2011 before Judge Ciungian.
On September 28, 2010, Korejsza pled guilty to one count of Racketeering, seven counts of Embezzlement and two counts of Tax Evasion before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Linda Parker. Korejsza is guilty of stealing more than $700,000 that was allocated for prescription drug coverage for River Rouge's retirees and employees while his Manhattan Group was managing the city's prescription drug contact. Korejsza remains in the Wayne County Jail as he awaits an April 11th sentencing date.
"I would like to thank Col. Etue and the Michigan State Police for their work in investigating and uncovering these crimes," said Schuette.
On January 4, 2011, Attorney General Schuette created a new Public Integrity Unit in the Attorney General's office to ratchet up the fight against corruption in state and local government, protect tax dollars and restore the public's trust in government. The Public Integrity Unit allows the office to put an increased focus on public corruption cases, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.