Detroit News: Bribery probe targets former U.S. Census official (Dwight Dean)
Since June 1, 2010, I have reported about problems in the Detroit office of the US Census Bureau involving Dwight Dean, who was booted from his once-stable perch in the Census Bureau hierarchy in August 2010. Today, I give a hearty thank you to Robert Snell and the Detroit News who have reported that the “former top-ranking U.S. Census Bureau official in Michigan and two other states is being investigated for allegedly accepting bribes and awarding an $857,000 no-bid contract.” MyTwoCensus.com urges federal, state, and local investigators to also investigate the many other Dwight Dean cronies who were very likely conspirators in his activities. Furthermore, as other MyTwoCensus.com pieces demonstrate, at the Detroit office of the Census Bureau, it oftentimes appeared like the inmates were running the asylum.
Here’s the Detroit News piece (in full HERE):
A search warrant affidavit unsealed Monday in federal court indicates that in November 2010 a grand jury was investigating Plymouth resident Dwight Dean. He was the highest-ranking Census official in Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia until he was abruptly, and inexplicably, replaced in August 2010. No criminal charges have been filed.
This investigation involves a federal official in Detroit, which has been the focus of several ongoing corruption investigations involving City Hall and two Detroit pension funds.
Federal investigators did not put a value on the alleged bribes, which involve dinners at expensive restaurants and what appear to be free tickets to the North American International Auto Show charity preview.
The Detroit businessman named in the search warrant, who admitted giving Dean auto show tickets and paying for dinners, denied doing anything wrong.
“That’s not bribery,” Motor City International President Louis James told The News. “That’s a business meeting.”
Dean had served as Census regional director since 1987 and oversaw a crucial headcount last year that ended with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing vowing to appeal figures that showed a steep population drop. The census is used to determine the amount of federal funding cities receive.
Dean, 64, did not return phone messages seeking comment Wednesday.
The search warrants were executed a year ago and the current status of the investigation was unclear Wednesday.
There is no indication the allegations affected the 2010 census count.
“Over 39,000 people hired locally in the Detroit region worked on the 2010 census. At all times, we conducted extensive quality assessments of operations and census results,” Census Bureau spokesman Michael Cook said.”The assessments of the Detroit region are consistent and within the norms of what we found nationally.”
Federal agents raided Dean’s offices in Detroit one year ago, searching for evidence he accepted gifts, loans or money between August 2008 and August 2010, according to the search warrant affidavit unsealed Monday.