Detroit Councilman Andre Spivey pleads guilty to federal bribery charge, faces prison time

(WWJ) Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey has pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge and faces up to five years in prison.

During a hearing Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Spivey admitted to taking $35,000 over a two-year period from a group seeking his support on towing contracts.

Spivey ignored reporters asking what he would tell Detroiters who voted him into office, not commenting as he walked into the courthouse.

The official charge, one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, was filed after the FBI raided Spivey's home, as well as his office at Detroit City Hall in August.

Speaking to WWJ's Jon Hewett, Spivey's attorney, Elliot Hall, said while his client accepted the money, he never took action.

Hewett asked if Detroit residents should assume it's still a pay-to-play game in Detroit politics.

"We elect our officials expecting them to be honest and sometimes they go astray," Hall said. "But in this particular case — despite the fact that Mr. Spivey took money — my bottom line has been from day one that he never violated the public trust in terms of using those funds to vote for a piece of legislation."

While Spivey left court without making a statement, Hall told reporters that Spivey will formally resign from City Council on Wednesday.

As part of a plea agreement, along with prison time, Spivey also faces fines of up to $250,000 when he's sentencing on Jan. 19, 2020.