Gabe Leland pled guilty to misconduct while serving on the Detroit City Council, which he recently resigned from, Local 4 reported.
Leland, 38, entered the guilty plea before 3rd Circuit Judge Gregory Bill during a virtual court hearing, the article added.
Leland, who served the District 7 council seat, according to the article, admitted to taking $7,500, plus free car repairs in 2017 to hold up a land vote for auto shop owner Robert Carmack, per the article.
Carmack was connected with hiring a private detective to see Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s goings-on during the 2018 mayoral race and accusing Duggan of taking bribes, per the article.
Leland did not plead guilty to bribery charges, according to the article. According to the article, the misconduct charge while in office is a felony with a maximum sentence of five years.
According to the report, the federal case against him could be dropped in exchange for Leland’s plea. He was indicted in 2018 by a federal grand jury on two counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy of bribery.
Detroit City Councilman Roy McCalister, Jr. wrote a statement about his feelings toward Leland’s resignation, which he described as a “resolution” to an unfortunate episode in our City’s history.”
To be perfectly honest, it was a concern to me to be serving alongside Member Leland while a cloud of ongoing legal investigations and rumors of misconduct hung over him, and regrettably over all of Council as well. But a fundamental principle of our justice system is the presumption of innocence and so it was his right to continue to serve and do the job the people of the Seventh District elected him to do,” he said in the statement. “Furthermore, per the City Charter, as long as Councilman Leland had not been convicted or pled guilty to the crimes he stood accused of, Council could not take any action. Now that he has pled guilty and resigned that cloud will lift and this distraction can finally be put behind us.”
McCalister wished Leland “good luck” as he moves on with his life and “begins the process of redressing the misconduct that he has now admitted to.”
“To the residents of District 7, I welcome you to call my district office in case there is any way myself or my staff may assist you in the coming months,” he added in the statement. “To my constituents and all the citizens of Detroit, I pledge to continue to lead with integrity and never take your trust for granted.”
Council President Brenda Jones echoed similar sentiments, calling the moment a “sad day for Detroit” in her own statement released Monday.
“It is important that all elected officials uphold their oath of office,” Jones said, adding that today a resolution will declare District 7’s vacancy will be on the Detroit City Council’s formal session agenda.
Also, a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, May 10 at 2 p.m. was scheduled to address City Council rules and charter-mandated actions moving forward.
“During this vacancy, the residents of District 7 will continue to have their interests represented,” she said.
Leland will be back in court on June 7.