Sheriff Investigation of Alleged Corruption in Berkley Concludes
In June 2016, city officials asked the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a thorough investigation following numerous charges of corruption involving City of Berkley employees, appointees and elected officials. The charges, made by certain residents during several Planning Commission, Zoning Board of appeals (ZBA) and City Council meetings, were based on specific allegations and among them were:
- City Planner Amy Vansen gave preferential treatment to developer Mark Adler
- Councilmember Alan H. Kideckel accepted a bribe from Mark Adler
- There was undue influence from Ms. Vansen and the city, in favor of Mr. Adler’s building projects, because of kickbacks.
According to the Sheriff’s office, the investigators goal was to determine if the parties named in the complaint had violated any criminal laws. A total of 31 individuals were interviewed. Of those interviewed were three residents (complainants), two former members of the ZBA, along with current members of the Planning Commission ZBA and City Council. Documents provided by the complainants, the City of Berkley and other sources, along with statements provided by the subjects involved in the investigation were also reviewed.
The investigators concluded that there was “no evidence to suggest that any public official has committed a violation of the criminal law.” No further action will be taken by the Sheriff’s Department.
“We are pleased that this process confirmed that city staff, appointed and elected officials did not engage in any wrongdoing,” said Mayor Phil O’Dwyer. I hope that this ugly chapter in Berkley’s history has been put to rest and we can move forward conducting the people’s business in an efficient, transparent manner as we have always done.”
Matt Baumgarten, Berkley City Manager said “There is no basis to charge anyone as a result of this investigation. The investigators found no evidence to support the claims made against our employees, appointed and elected officials. I hope this outcome is reassuring for the good and decent people that live in Berkley. It’s a great city to live in and this finding is further proof.”