Summary of Criminal Prosecutions

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1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: William Frank (Willie) Morgan
E.D.  Michigan  2:11-CR-20531-3SD
2. DEFENDANT: Kendrick Covington
E.D.  Michigan  2:11-CR-20531-1SD
3. DEFENDANT: Marcus Brown
E.D.  Michigan  2:11-CR-20531-1SD
4. DEFENDANT: Terrance Marcel Parker
E.D.  Michigan  2:11-CR-20531-1SD

This investigation centered around Clean Air Act asbestos NESHAP violations as well as allegations of bribery. More specifically, it was alleged that PBM Services owner Terrance Parker, an asbestos abatement subcontractor, may have committed bribery and conspired with Royal Oak Township Supervisor William Morgan to violate the NESHAP regulations. The allegations relate to the Berkshire Development which had a contract to demolish three buildings owned by Royal Oak Township, to which One Accord Environmental Services (d/b/a PBM Services) was the asbestos abatement subcontractor. The owner of Berkshire allegedly had been approached by Morgan and Parker who were soliciting a bribe payment to Morgan of $50,000 in exchange for Morgan approving a change order covering the asbestos abatement under the existing demolition contract. The funding for the demolition contract was provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

August 23, 2011
Morgan and Brown were each charged with conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.

CITATION: 18 U.S.C. 371, 18 U.S.C. 666
September 27, 2011
Brown pled guilty to conspiracy.

October 18, 2011
Morgan was charged with 4 felony counts - conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and bribery, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 666.

Covington was charged with one count of conspiracy to make a false and fraudulent claim to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and to make a false material statement in violation of the federal Clean Air Act {42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(A)}.
CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(2)(a)
January 3, 2012
Parker pled guilty to conspiracy.

March 26, 2012
Morgan pled guilty to 1 count of conspiracy and 1 count of bribery.

Press Release

Department of Justice
Southern District of Ohio March 26, 2012

Supervisor Of Royal Oak Township Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Accept Brides, To Defraud HUD, And To File False Statements To EPA

The Supervisor of Royal Oak Township, William Morgan, pleaded guilty today in federal court to two counts of conspiracy. Morgan admitted to conspiring to accept a $10,000 bribe, to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to make a false statement in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

In pleading guilty before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow, Morgan admitted accepting a $10,000 bribe in an unsuccessful attempt to steer a HUD contract for the demolition of property to the company whose owner gave him the bribe. Morgan also admitted that he conspired with the owner of that company and others to submit a false report regarding the asbestos to be abated in an abandoned theater on Eight Mile Road, which was to be demolished, so that they could submit a false change order to obtain approximately $170,000 in federal funds.

The federal funds were intended to be used by communities for the improvement of blighted areas by removal of dilapidated buildings, pursuant to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Morgan, in addition to being Township Supervisor was the Township coordinator for NSP.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “The conduct in this case not only breached the public trust, but it also risked public health by evading the rules for removing asbestos safely." Andrew Arena, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation said, "This guilty plea should serve as a strong reminder to anyone in public government that corruption will never go unpunished. Those who strive to profit personally by taking bribes will have to face severe consequences for violating public trust."

Breck J. Nowlin, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, said "Public corruption at any level strikes at the very heart of representative government. In this case, the very individuals in whom the people have placed their full faith and confidence have squandered that faith in order to personally profit from the programs they are charged to administer. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement colleagues to root out this type of corruption and to protect these valued programs."

"Asbestos can cause cancer and other fatal diseases and has no safe exposure level. That's why the main question that a public official should ask himself when awarding an asbestos abatement contract is, 'who can best do the job competently, safely and cost-effectively?'," said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigation Division. The conspiracy counts both have a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Morgan's sentencing is scheduled for August 2, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI, HUD Office of Inspector General and U.S. Environmental Division, Criminal Investigation Division.

May 14, 2012
Covington pled guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to make a false and fraudulent claim to HUD.
May 24, 2012
Parker was sentenced to 21 months incarceration followed by 24 months probation.

August 2, 2012
Morgan was sentenced to 36 months incarceration, 24 months probation.

Read more in the EPA press release.
August 28, 2012
Covington was sentenced to 24 months probation. The criminal fine was waived due to the defendant's inability to pay. In addition, Covington has allowed his asbestos inspector certification to lapse and agreed not to seek reinstatement of his certification during the term of his probation.

September 11, 2012
Brown was sentenced to 24 months probation. No fine was imposed.

  • Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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