On Wednesday, it was announced that the former Deputy Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department had been indicted for bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. The charges are associated with the alleged corruption of towing permits in the city of Detroit. The indictment charged 57-year-old Celia Washington of Detroit.
The indictment claims that Washington was responsible for overseeing the police department’s licensing, permitting and use of private towing companies while serving as the Deputy Police Chief and legal advisor to the Chief of Police. The indictment alleges that Washington conspired to commit bribery with the owner of several towing companies to ensure the owner’s companies were placed in the department’s towing rotation.
The police department uses private towing companies to tow vehicles that are seized or stolen. Washington was aware that the owner of the towing companies was violation city rules by having more than one company in the rotation for a specific precinct or district. It is alleged that Washington accepted at least $3,000 in cash from the towing company owner in February of 2016.
In June of the same year, Washington helped issue a police towing rotation that allowed the owner to continue to violate the city’s towing rules. It is alleged that Washington communicated with the owner and his associate and relative via Washington’s private email account. A single bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A bribery conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.
The defendant remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.