A controversial former Troy city manager was charged with bribery in federal court Friday and accused of pocketing more than $20,000 from a city contractor.
The bribery charge against Brian Kischnick comes four months after he was fired from the $161,000-a-year job following a checkered stint that included allegations of domestic violence and questionable expenses. The expenses included thousands of dollars spent on personal meals, pricey cellphone accessories he passed out as gifts to workers, and passes he arranged that permitted selected nonresidents and their families to use city recreational facilities.
“Through his criminal and unethical behavior, Mr. Kischnick has victimized residents, taxpayers, city employees and city council,” City Manager Mark Miller said in a statement. “The city is moving forward with employees that meet the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity.”
Officials plan to hire a forensic auditor to review city finances.
He is the latest public official charged with corruption following a years-long crackdown in Detroit and Macomb County that has left several people in prison or facing years behind bars, including ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
“Those who hold the public’s offices and use them for their own personal gain and enrichment should beware,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement. “We will uncover your crimes and hold you fully accountable for your breach of the public’s trust. This office is committed to weeding out corruption everywhere we find it in Southeastern Michigan.”
Kischnick, 50, was charged in a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is expected.
If convicted, Kischnick could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
His defense lawyer Anjali Prasad did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Kischnickis accused of accepting more than $20,800 in cash and things of value from a representative of an unidentified contractor between 2015 and March, when he was fired.
“Willfully violating the oath of public office for personal gain is a serious and unlawful breach of the public’s trust,” Timothy Slater, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit division, said in a statement.
Kischnick was hired by Troy in 2012 after serving as Tittabawassee Township manager. His contract as Troy’s city manager had been extended a year ago.
Two months ago, he was sentenced in a separate case to 15 months reporting probation, a 40-week domestic violence program and substance abuse monitoring for tackling his 28-year-old girlfriend and driving her face into the ground outside her Clawson address during a March 9 argument.
Kischnick was the focus of a city hall probe two years ago for an unreported accident involving a city car, which he drove while collecting a gas allowance from the city for supposedly driving his own vehicle.
After a two-month investigation by an outside attorney regarding the above concerns and allegations about Kischnick raised by city workers, officials said they found no criminal offenses had occurred and no disciplinary action was required against Kischnick. He agreed to reimburse the city for $1,000 in repairs caused in the traffic accident.