Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland's Criminal Case Nears an End

April 06, 2021, 11:44 AM by  Allan Lengel


Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland, who his facing a felony charge of misconduct in office for allegedly accepting a campaign contribution in cash, is scheduled to appear in Wayne County Circuit Court on Monday, April 19. He's expected to plead guilty in the case.

On Monday Leland waived a preliminary exam in Detroit 36th District Court, clearing the way for his plea. Michigan law prohibits convicted felons from holding state or local office, which means he'll have to leave office.

He's unlikely to get jail time.

Defense attorney Steve Fishman declined comment. 

In 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Leland for conspiracy to commit bribery and two counts of bribery for allegedly taking $15,000 from a businessman. But Fishman was able to broker a deal where he faces a lesser charge in state court. In exchange, the federal charges are expected to be dropped.

Federal authorities alleged that he conspired with campaign worker Elisa Grubbs to solicit and accept $15,000 in cash and free auto body work from local business owner Bob Carmack, who wore an FBI wire. Leland received half that payment in cash.

In March interview with Deadline Detroit, he said:

"I’m proud of a lot things I've done and the effect I've had on lots of residents."

Asked if he has regrets about the circumstances of his criminal case, he said:

"There's a lot to do in life, so I feel like I don't necessarily have to be elected to move on and continue to help people."

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