U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn barred the defense from asking why Synagro Technologies and The Carlyle Group were not charged in the sewage sludge bribery case. Charged were:
Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers (plead guilty, awaiting sentence)
Sam Riddle, political consultant (undergoing trial)
James Rosendall, Synagro VP (fired by Carlyle Group, plead guilty)
Neither Synagro or The Carlyle Group are under investigation, due to their "cooperation."
Judge Cohn gave Rosendall 11 months in jail for his five year role in the bribery scandal. Prosecutors cited "extraordinary cooperation," but Rosendall is politically connected in Michigan, having been appointed to the state transportation commission by Gov. Granholm. Carlyle works hard to maintain their good name, especially in an early public infrastructure play. The private equity underwriter (PEU) is renowned for their political connections.
The Carlyle Group purchased Synagro in April 2007. MLive reported:
The influence-peddling reached a climax in fall 2007 when a City Council member accepted payments to vote in favor of the deal with Houston-based Synagro Technologies.
The Synagro deal passed by the Detroit City Council by one vote. It happened under the Carlyle Group's watch. The deal has since been terminated.
Corporations, like individuals, have free speech rights, according to the Supreme Court. Now, how can they truly pay for their crimes?