Two city employees arraigned on misdemeanor charges over alleged fraudulent property sales

They are suspended indefinitely without pay

DEARBORN, Mich. – Two City of Dearborn employees were arraigned in 19th District Court on Wednesday on misdemeanor charges related to two alleged fraudulent home sales that took place while they were officials of the former Building and Safety Department.

Both were released under a $500 personal bond and are scheduled for a pre-trial conference with a district court prosecutor on Jan. 5.

The employees have been indefinitely suspended without pay.

Andrew Pizzino of Dearborn is charged with four misdemeanor counts: two counts of fraud and two counts of ethics violations of the City of Dearborn Charter.

The charges stem from a Dearborn house Pizzino purchased allegedly under fraudulent circumstances on Beech in 2004 and resold for a profit in 2005; and for a Dearborn house on Chestnut he purchased allegedly under fraudulent circumstances in 2002 and resold for a profit in 2003.

At the time of the transactions, he was a supervisor in the Building and Safety Department. He was reassigned to the Residential Services Department after a restructuring in 2009.

Robert Deberardino of Dearborn was charged with two misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting Pizzino in the alleged fraudulent property transactions in 2003 and 2005.

Deberardino was the deputy director of the Building and Safety Department at the time of the transactions. He had been reassigned to the Economic and Community Development Department following a restructuring in 2009.

Each misdemeanor fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of $500 and 93 days in jail. Each ethics violations carry a maximum penalty of $500 and 90 days in jail. 19th District Judge Mark Somers presided over the arraignments.

The misdemeanor charges are the result of a police and F.B.I. investigation of the former Building and Safety Department that has lasted more than two years and was initiated by Mayor John B. O’Reilly.

No other city employees are expected to face criminal charges stemming from the investigation of the former department.

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