DETROIT, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The corruption case against a Detroit political consultant opened with prosecutors describing alleged "greed" and "pay to play" motives in an opening statement.
Sam Riddle, chief of staff to former Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers, faces felony charges including extortion and bribery, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday. Conyers and Riddle together were a criminal partnership "shaking people down,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cares said.
"They were driven by two things; greed, and their motto was 'pay to play,'" he said. "Monica Conyers is on the take and Sam Riddle is ... helping her obtain public money."
Riddle allegedly collected bribes for Conyers for her vote on a $1.2 billion waste disposal contract awarded to Synagro Technologies, and from other companies and individuals doing business with the city, the Free Press reported.
Conyers pleaded guilty to bribery last summer and faces sentencing in March. She is not expected to testify in Riddle's trial, the newspaper said.
In his opening statement, defense attorney John Minock told jurors Riddle has a long, respected career in politics and accepted money as a legitimate consultant.
"There's more than one side of this story," Minock said.