By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – News reports of public officials “conspiring to commit false pretenses” could be applied to the city’s recent past, Councilman Harry Sisko said at the Dec. 20 City Council meeting.
Sisko said news reports about former Flint emergency managers facing charges for false pretenses and conspiring to the same — felonies that carry 20-year jail sentences — remind him of how he used to ask former Allen Park Emergency Manager Joyce Parker if the people involved with the 104-acre former Unity Studios project were being investigated.
“We knew about the SEC one which actually came to an ending,” Sisko said of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. “But I was also told that the state police were doing an investigation within Michigan.”
Sisko said he asked Parker every time he saw her if an investigation was still ongoing, and she always said yes; however, nothing happened, and he said he now he believes a state police investigation never occurred.
“The (Flint) emergency managers are being charged with something that our former officials could have been charged with, ‘conspiring to commit false pretenses,’” Sisko said. “Were the bonds that we applied for, the figures that were submitted, not accurate or true? Why weren’t these same charges done?”
Sisko expressed concerns that the statute of limitations could have expired, and said because an investigation resulting in conspiracy charges did not occur, the city does not have closure.
“We spent $30 million (on Unity Studios),” Sisko said. “Just imagine what we could have done with that money. We probably wouldn’t have had to do a road millage.”
Sisko committed to investigate the possibility of bringing false pretense conspiracy charges against the former officials responsible for the project.
“This is something that I have talked about for a long time, since I was elected in 2011, and it still sits with me,” he said. “And I don’t like it. I will look into it.”