Ex-Detroit Demolition Official Sentenced for Taking Bribes
Aradondo Haskins, a former Detroit demolition projects official, has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for accepting $26,500 in bribes from contractors and rigging bids to tear down homes in a federally funded demolition program. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts handed down the sentence on Sept. 23 and ordered Haskins to pay a $5,000 fine and forfeit bribes he took while employed by demolition contractor Adamo Group and by the city. The charges against Haskins were unsealed on April 8, shortly before he pled guilty.
Haskins was a Detroit Building Authority (DBA) field operations manager in 2015 and 2016 before he was fired. He was an estimator for Adamo before that.
Haskins’s responsibilities at Adamo included assembling bid packages in response to DBA requests for proposals.
Rich Berg, an executive with Detroit’s Environmental Specialty Services (ESS)—identified as Contractor A, was one of the subcontractors who received Haskins’s invitations to bid. Berg paid Haskins for information about bids from ESS competitors, according to the indictment. In return, Haskins provided information about the lowest competing bid. That allowed ESS to submit a still-lower bid. Haskins received $14,000 from Berg.
Haskins was hired by the DBA as a field operations manager for its demolition program in 2015. He became the primary point of contact for contractors and opened and read bids. Haskins had information about DBA contracts and competitive bids, and his relationship with Berg continued. Haskins gave Berg information about competing bids in exchange for $11,500 in bribes while at DBA and another $1,000 after he was terminated.
Makan Delrahim, head of the U.S. Justice Dept. antitrust division, said the division “will aggressively pursue collusion that corrupts the government contracting process.”
Prosecutors cited confidentiality when asked by Judge Roberts if Berg was being investigated but said that process had concluded, according to the Detroit Free Press.