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Brown – who today is director for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, claimed he was fired in 2003 because he was looking into allegations into drunk driving accidents, falsified overtime records, and claims that two former mayoral bodyguards the mayor used helped facilitate and cover up extramarital affairs. Brown was awarded $3.6 million by a jury.
In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 federal felony counts and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. Brown did not return phone calls to Downtown newsmagazine.
Steve Shaya was a contract employee for the city of Hamtramck – unlike Brown, who was a full -time employee – working as the director of public services. Shaya didn't like that certain police officers were moonlighting at local garages after work – against a city ordinance that forbid the subcontracting of city employees, especially without disclosure of their extracurricular work to city council.
"The Hamtramck officers were assigned also to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and when there were busts, they were taking the seized vehicles and calling DA Auto Restoration Towing (in Hamtramck), where the rates were astronomical. They made money off this, their buddies were working there, and they were billing the city," Shaya's attorney, Mark Koroi of Plymouth, said. He said Shaya and fellow whistleblower Cathie Graham, who was on the city council at the time, felt the officers should have disclosed the arrangement and that they were working there in their off hours. Since they didn't, Koroi said Shaya and Graham reported it to then-city manager William Cooper, who insisted it must stop due to conflict of interest concerns.
Koroi said he believes the officers did stop. And then Cooper was suddenly fired in March of 2012, after developing a strained relationship with council in the few months prior to his firing. Cooper accused the city of breach of contract and settled with them for $142,000.
But Shaya's travails were not over. "On November 15, 2013, my client was having lunch (at home in Hamtramck), and he goes back to work, and he gets contacted by the same officer he reported (for working at DA Auto)," Koroi said. "He said there's been a report of a hit and run – 'you hit somebody.' Essentially, my client went to the emergency manager and said, 'Look at my vehicle – there's no new damage. There's nothing there. It's BS.' It got turned over to the city manager, because supposedly there was a 911 call reporting it."
Koroi said the 911 tape actually exonerated Shaya, because the information in the alleged 911 call was different in all ways – from the time of the incident, the supposed intersection, that the person in the hit and run was black (Shaya is Chaldean), and other inconsistencies, including that the caller said the vehicle was struck in the side of the vehicle, while the officer told Shaya the damage was to the hatchback....continued on page 4