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Former Detroit police lieutenant sentenced for accepting bribes in towing corruption


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     DETROIT (WWJ) — A former Detroit police lieutenant is sentenced to two and a half years for accepting bribes in connection with corruption in the towing industry.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 57-year-old John F. Kennedy, of Rochester Hills, led the Detroit Police Department’s Integrity Unit when he accepted $14,950 in bribes. Officials say Kennedy conspired with police officer Daniel Vickers to accept money and other items in exchange for Kennedy to persuade other officers to make tow referrals to companies.

Kennedy and Vickers agreed to accept cars, car parts, repairs and new carpeting for Vickers’ home. In addition, Kennedy provided the towing company he was investigating with confidential information about the case.

Vickers, who received more than $3,400 in payments, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

“Today’s sentence underscores our commitment to ensuring local police agencies embody the utmost commitment to excellence, integrity, and professionalism. Thankfully, today’s result is not emblematic of the character of our law enforcement partners. Nevertheless, this type of immoral conduct will and must be punished. We thank Chief of Police James White for his assistance in this investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison in a statement.

The officers were charged in connection with an investigation of corruption in the towing industry between DPD and the city of Detroit.

Since the start of investigation, six people have been charged.

In 2021, Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey pleaded guilty to accepting $36,000 in bribes related to oversight of towing policy. Spivey resigned.

“This former officer’s actions are unacceptable for anyone who has the privilege to wear the Detroit Police badge,” Police Chief James White said in a statement. “We appreciate U.S. Attorney Ison’s work to bring accountability to those who fail in their sworn duty to serve and protect the public and will continue to collaborate with her office in any investigation of alleged wrongdoing by our officers. Delivering transparent, accountable, policing excellence that Detroiters deserve is a top priority of my administration.”

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