Former department employee gets prison sentence

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Former city worker Leticia Bosemon was sentenced last week to 30 months in prison for accepting dozens of bribes while she was a clerk with the city’s Building and Safety Department.

Judge Gerald Rosen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued the sentence last Wednesday at the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building. Bosemon’s sentence is at the minimum of federal sentencing guidelines that called for anywhere from 30 to 37 months for her offense.

Bosemon pleaded guilty in May 2009 to bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. According to the plea agreement, she admitted to receiving bribes in excess of $63,000 from more than 50 different individuals between 2006 and 2008. Bosemon said she created and sold false performance bonds and issued fraudulent temporary certificates of occupancy to contractors looking to sidestep city escrow requirements.

The city used to require a purchaser of a house to either place cash or a performance bond in escrow with the city equal to the estimated costs of getting the property up to city building codes. The policy has been changed since, but during its time was known as one of the most stringent — and some say onerous — codes in the region.

Bosemon said she accepted bribes on more than 100 residential properties. In each case, the individuals who passed bribes paid less than they would have if they had gone through legitimate city procedures.

Bosemon’s conviction is the first to result from a vast corruption investigation into the now-closed department. At least three other former department employees currently have cases pending at the federal and local level.