March 2, 2011
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.
Integrity Unit allows the office to put an increased focus on public corruption
cases, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office.
charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until