Judge Frees Charles Rizzo on Bond; Feds Concerned He’s a Suicide Risk –  Deadline Detroit

Chuck Rizzo Jr. (Fox 2 screenshot)

In a surprising move, a federal judge ruled on Monday that Charles B. Rizzo, the former garbage hauling king, can go free on bond to get his family matters in order before serving 5 1/2 years for corruption.

Rizzo had his bond revoked before his sentencing after the government found he had tampered with a witness in his case. He was sentenced last week. The government opposed his release, concerned he might try to kill himself before serving time.  

But U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland notes that “the court concedes that there is some evidence that defendant talked about self-harm in 2016, but there is nothing to indicate that he is currently contemplating it.”

Cleland lists the reasons for his release in an order for Rizzo: 

  • First, Defendant’s eldest son is cognitively disabled and has an Individualized Education Plan meeting with his school, at which the school and the Rizzo family will need to discuss whether Defendant’s son will graduate from high school next year or attend an extended high school program until he is 21.

  • Second, Defendant’s youngest son will be attending a new school, and Defendant seeks freedom to help ease his transition.

  • Third, Defendant asks for release so that, in light of the monetary implications of his sentencing, he can help with his family’s financial planning.

  • Fourth, defendant’s mother is scheduled for significant surgery in coming weeks.

While out a $10,000 unsecured bond, Cleland directs Rizzo to:

  • Report in person once per week until surrendered, or as otherwise directed by

  • Pretrial Services.

  • Restrict travel to the Eastern District of Michigan unless approval given by

  • Pretrial Services, including a Bureau of Prisons direction to surrender. Participate in good faith in any mental health therapy sessions as directed by Pretrial Services as often as once per week. Have no contact with co-defendants, victims, and/or witnesses.

  • Report to the designated Bureau of Prisons institution on time and at his own

  • expense.

Rizzo, 47, of Bloomfield Hills,  was accused of fraud and paying $206,000 to Macomb County officials to land municipal contracts for his former firm, Rizzo Environmental Services.

Rizzo initially cooperated in the investigation and wore an FBI recorder. He recently insisted that the politicians approached him, not the other way around.

Rizzo’s corruption and bribe payments spread to at least four separate municipalities in Macomb County, authorities said. Rizzo blamed his crimes on “two-bit corrupt politicians” and schoolyard bullies as a kid.

Rizzo pleaded guilty on Nov. 9. He faced charges of bribery and scheming with others to steal hundreds of thousand of dollars from Rizzo Environmental Services between from 2013-16 when the majority owner was a New York-based private equity firm. The company has since been sold to GFL (Green For Life) Environmental

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