Detroit 12 March 2012. Three former public officials, including ex-Detroit Treasurer Jeff Beasley, will be arraigned at 1 p.m. in federal court on corruption-related charges that could send them to prison for decades.
Beasley will walk into federal court with a lawyer. He might not leave with him.
The city’s pension funds have stopped funding Beasley’s legal defence. It’s unclear if Beasley, who allegedly pocketed $100,000 in cash from people with business ties to the pension funds, can afford a lawyer, or needs taxpayers to pay for the defence..
Beasley’s lawyer, Walter Piszczatowski, declined comment but earlier said his client is innocent.
“I think it’s interesting that only one person from 10- and 11-member boards, respectively, got indicted,” Piszczatowski said. “I haven’t seen their witness list, but you can bet everybody who’s testifying is looking for some type of deal and that their testimony was effectively bought and paid for.”
Beasley was charged with taking bribes and kickbacks in a six-count indictment following a long-running FBI investigation of the city’s two pension funds.