FBI intensify Detroit investigations…

Alleged bid-rigging and collusion under scrutiny.

The FBI has reviewed a report that suggests bid-rigging and collusion among Detroit demolition officials and contractors, documents obtained by the Free Press show.

Contractors’ bids to tear down Detroit’s blighted homes were manipulated, the documents say, as part of a scheme concealed from state overseers yet known by Dave Manardo, Mayor Mike Duggan’s group executive for operations.

The mayor’s office Friday disputed that Manardo knew of the bid manipulation scheme and downplayed the documents’ significance, saying issues they raised already have been resolved with the state.

The FBI also was given information about several other red flags, including a $1.3-million demolition contract that an investigator believed was “greased” for Adamo Group to win; possible collusion between demolition contractors and asbestos survey companies, and an 800-square-foot garage that inexplicably cost $22,250 to tear down.

The documents — originally compiled by investigators hired by the state before they were turned over to the FBI — also include notes of interviews with Detroit demolition officials whom a lead investigator described as evasive in their answers. One state investigator suspected illegal activity during the review, according to his interview notes.

“My theory is that bid-rigging practices have inflated the cost of demos,” lead investigator Tom Golden wrote in notes taken in July 2016.

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