SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Key members of Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano's staff are now facing federal charges accused of trying to cover-up a crime.
The U.S. Attorney announced the county's top information officer, 52-year-old Tahir Kazmi, and the county's director of enterprise application, 33-year-old Zayd Alleban, are the first to be charged in a widening corruption probe involving Wayne County government.
Kazmi and Alleban are charged with obstruction of justice and impeding an investigation. They're accused of pressuring a county vendor into lying to FBI agents. They also allegedly manufactured evidence to hinder the FBI probe.
Kazmi is also charged with extortion and bribery.
We're told Kazmi demanded cash and trips from a vendor in exchange for county contracts.
Kazmi resigned on Wednesday. Alleban is suspended without pay.
The criminal complaint does not mention any charges against Ficano.
"We have been fully cooperating and if somebody did something wrong, then you're going to hold them accountable," Ficano said Wednesday evening. "That's always been my philosophy of when I was sheriff and it's my philosophy as a county executive."
"If the allegations are true, it is outrageous and those people should be held accountable."
"We are turning over every stone in this case, and anyone who tampers with our investigation will be charged with obstruction of justice," United States Attorney Barbara McQuade said. "We hope that these charges will encourage others to come forward and assist us in our investigation rather than impede it. The citizens of Wayne County are entitled to a thorough investigation to ensure that they are receiving the honest government they deserve."
Click on the video player for more on this story from Charlie LeDuff, Ronnie Dahl and our legal analyst Charlie Langton.
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