Feds Get Key Guilty Plea In Detroit-Area Corruption Probe

TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) — A real estate investor pleaded guilty Friday to bribing a Detroit-area mayor with cash, appliances and home upgrades in exchange for getting dozens of foreclosed properties.

Shady Awad replied, “yes,” when a judge recited the payoffs in Taylor and asked if they were accurate, The Detroit News reported.

Awad pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy and could face about four years in prison when he is sentenced on March 1.

“Not only do we seek to hold public officials accountable when they violate the law, we also hold those accountable who benefit from such illegal activity,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin.

The government said Awad bribed Mayor Rick Sollars with benefits worth more than $53,000. The mayor was charged in 2019. He pleaded not guilty and his case is pending.

A search of Sollars' house in 2019 turned up about $206,000 in cash.

In a text message to Awad, Sollars complained about the slow pace of free work at a cottage in 2017, the government said

“My relationship with Rick is worth $1 million so whatever it takes I’ll pay for it,” Awad told a contractor, according to the indictment.

Sollars lost a write-in campaign for reelection in the August primary but has said he'll run again as a write-in candidate on Nov. 2.