- Rizzo Environmental Services founder Chuck Rizzo Jr. has resigned as new details of the company's involvement in a second federal corruption case were released, as reported by The Detroit News. Patrick Dovigi, president and CEO of parent company GFL Environmental Inc., will take over operation of Rizzo on an interim basis.
- Michigan's Macomb Township Trustee Clifford Freitas, who also worked for Rizzo until this month, allegedly accepted a $7,500 bribe in exchange for helping the company win the local collection contract in 2015. While Freitas couldn't vote on the contract he was recorded by an FBI wiretap telling an unnamed company contact how to bid for favorable treatment.
- Freitas was also offered an additional $35,000 if he could get collection shifted to the township's water bill as a way to save money. He was arrested by FBI agents on Tuesday and currently faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Rizzo was acquired by Toronto-based GFL Environmental earlier this month. In a news release the company said it had no knowledge of the FBI investigation prior this deal and is currently conducting an internal review.
"While our review is ongoing, the allegations that have been presented in two federal criminal complaints are completely counter to the way we that GFL does business. Adhering to the highest ethical policies and conducting our business with the utmost integrity are among GFL's most important priorities. We are outraged by the allegations that have been reported and have zero tolerance for employee misconduct or unprofessional behavior," said Dovigi in the press release, as reported by The Detroit News.
This comes less than two weeks after another trustee from Clinton Township was charged with accepting up to $70,000 to help Rizzo secure a no-bid contract renewal. These developments have likely cost Rizzo business in at least one township, and caused concern in others. In Flint, the news seems to have played a role in bringing Rizzo's highly-contested contract fight with Republic Services to an end.
The company has not been officially named or charged with any criminal wrongdoing and previously said it will cooperate with authorities.