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Judge Declares Mistrial in Sam Riddle Corruption Case

Detroit has long been a sewer of corruption, but the Riddle case has taken the city to even deeper depths of hell. Today the judge presiding over the case against Sam Riddle, political consultant to Monica Conyers, declared a mistrial. Angela Woods, the only African American juror, refused to deliberate or even discuss the case with the other jurors, creating a deadlock. The other jurors have accused Woods of siding with Riddle because of race:

Jurors Matt Lefevre and Jay Gandhi described a jury room bordering on mayhem during deliberations.

"I thought she was going to hit me over the head," Gandhi said of the holdout juror.

"There was a lot of yelling and screaming," Lefevre said. "She wouldn't sit at the table half the time. I pray to God every day that they retry this case."

Juror Margaret Elyakin talked about the holdout juror.

"I felt right from the beginning she had a vendetta. She was accusing us of being racist, that we were thinking he was guilty just because he was black, which is very untrue," Elyakin said.

Juror Sue Persichini said the holdout juror never defended her position.

"She said we had all made our minds and we really hadn't. We all went in with an open mind." Persichini said.

Not only did this one juror refuse to discuss the case for the entire six days of jury deliberations, but she then accused those who wanted to deliberate the evidence of having their minds made up because Mr. Riddle was black.

Here's what Ms. Woods had to say for herself:

Whatever reason Angela Woods had for being the lone holdout on convicting Sam Riddle in his federal bribery case she is keeping close to the vest.

Woods, the only African-American on the jury, steadfastly refused to answer questions from reporters over whether she played the race card in refusing to go along with her fellow jurors and convict Riddle, who is also black.

Woods, a 37-year-old flight attendant, was swarmed by reporters and camera crews at her home several hours after the mistrial was announced in the federal corruption case.

We all had a responsibility. ... I don't owe anyone anything ... not an explanation," a stoic Woods said Wednesday. At times, she looked to be near tears. "It's over. It's done with. The judge made a decision."

"I will not be commenting on this now, not later, nor in the future," she said.

Of course she doesn't want to discuss the case. She can't justify why she stonewalled for the entire six days of deliberations, in spite of listening to testimony like this:

Riddle was charged with extorting bribes from people and businesses hoping to do business in Detroit in exchange for Monica Conyers voting in their favor at city council meetings.

Jim St. John, president of Déjà vu Consulting, based in Lansing, was the first witness today in Day 3 of the bribery and extortion trial against Riddle in U.S. District Court.

St. John told jurors that he met with Riddle in the fall of 2006 at an Andiamo restaurant in Dearborn and that Riddle purported himself to be an aide to then-Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers.

St. John and his partner, Joe Hall, were trying to get a topless bar license transferred to a club on Congress in Detroit. Riddle told them he could have Conyers' vote for $25,000, St. John testified.

"I was a little shocked and definitely concerned," St. John said. "I interpreted it as bribery. I thought: 'Are they trying to set me up?' "

Hall testified this morning that he was also fearful that Riddle was trying to entrap them.

"Here's a guy asking me for $25,000 and he's wearing a gravy-stained tracksuit," Hall said. "It was like something out of a bad movie."

St. John testified that he, Hall and local consultant Chris Jackson, who was assisting Déjà vu, sent Riddle away from the table.

When Riddle returned, they told him they would not pay the money, St. John said.

St. John said he and Hall met with their attorney the following day and he advised them not to report the incident to authorities.

The following week, Detroit City Council voted 5-4 against the topless bar license transfer.

St. John said had Conyers voted in his favor, "I would have been in business, but at what price?"

Hall testified: "We don't bribe people. That's not what we do."


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Comments (17)

In America, there is one ra... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

In America, there is one race that is held to be above all others.
If you are a member of this race, you will be forgiven certain things that any other race would not be forgiven.
You will not be held to the same level of responsibility as other races.
A whole industry will be devoted to getting free stuff for you. Jobs, education, business loans, contracts etc etc will be set aside for you.

If you are not a member of this race and you are brought to court, members of your race and society as a whole will say "Meh. Maybe he did it and maybe he didn't. We'll let the courts decide."
But if you are a member of the special race, you have a ready-made bloc of people that will automatically support you due solely to your race and accuse everyone else of racism.

Some members of this race may snicker and think they are getting one over on The Man; but in reality they are being treated like children. But make no mistake, members of the other races see you getting special treatment and therefore do not think you should be taken seriously. When other races see agitators of the special race demanding special treatment, the other races look at them and think "Those are not men, yet. They are children."

Not all members of the special race want to be treated like boys. These people want to be treated equally, like everyone else. Hopefully, that is a growing trend.

This sort of thing happens ... (Below threshold)

This sort of thing happens every day in courtrooms all over the country. It's one reason why the crime rate is so high in our big cities and the fact that the news media refuses to address the issue makes them complicit.

Geesh,,, this post seems a ... (Below threshold)

Geesh,,, this post seems a prime target for our resident race card puller s green.

Wonder where the nitwit is?

Oh he'll be here shortly Ma... (Below threshold)

Oh he'll be here shortly Marc,bet on it,and it'll be the same -hit different day.

You know, Les, not all that... (Below threshold)

You know, Les, not all that many years ago your comment might have elicited an entirely different conclusion. It's just not that way anymore. And some people are still stuck in the past, afraid to let go of the old excuse - or the crutch as it were.

This is why the inner citie... (Below threshold)

This is why the inner cities are plagued with crime, corruption and social distintegration. The 'race card' is played constantly. Look at Detroit: A city filled with political corruption and outright theft by city officials, yet the voters will not throw them out of office because of their race. Somehow they have to 'protect their own', while being victimized by the very same people they prop up.

This is a perfect example w... (Below threshold)

This is a perfect example why a Det-riot is the hellhole it is.

How long til rabid dogs take over the city?

Good comment, Les.... (Below threshold)

Good comment, Les.

I read the post and thought... (Below threshold)

I read the post and thought "Shades of O.J. Simpson!" .... and AFAIK there wasn't any Johnny Cochran moments and pithy, catchy sound bites to be endlessly echoed by the media.

And + on Les above. Best observation of the environment I have seen lately. I think I'll steal that one to keep in my PDA to quote the next time I hear someone making excuses....

Frankly, my comment makes m... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Frankly, my comment makes me sick, but it is the truth.
My school years were the 70's and 80's. I attended mixed-race inner city schools. We heard all the usual liberal platitudes (and us kids of all races rolled our eyes and recognized it as touch-feely bullshit.)

Funny, all the kids I knew (even the 'bad' ones, who went on to an early grave or prison) were pretty much the same in a one-on-one basis. If you treated people equally as civilized humans, they generally acted equally as civilized humans.

I used to self-censor a little regarding my views on race in America. Not anymore. The charge of 'Racism!' has been so perverted and diluted that I just don't care anymore.

There's quite a few elephants in the room and it's past time that we start pointing them out.

Isn't there some charge the... (Below threshold)

Isn't there some charge the DA can bring against Woods?

Sam's problem is that he's ... (Below threshold)

Sam's problem is that he's in the wrong city.
In Washington, people will take your money with the promise of moving votes and they are called "lobbyists".

I actually met Sam 40+ years ago. He was a self-important ass then, and it seems he hasn't changed.

"Gravy-stained track suit" ... (Below threshold)

"Gravy-stained track suit" LOLOL

Sure it wasn't Al Sharpton?

That cracked me up too, ODA... (Below threshold)

That cracked me up too, ODA.

First thing I thought of wa... (Below threshold)

First thing I thought of was some old Grisham novel. Anyone looking into whether this juror was bought and paid for?

Steve.... and your point is... (Below threshold)

Steve.... and your point is? Because there are racial issues we cannot discuss race because discussing race makes us racist? Hmmmm.... Pointing out the fact that there are racists makes us racist too. A mighty broad brush you bring to the discussion for a cliche of the day. Gee. Seems that any time someone says there is a racial issue, that person is labeled a racist. So I'm finding the biggest racists in the room are the ones that flip up the race card at the merest talk that there might be a racial issue....

steve, we are having frank ... (Below threshold)

steve, we are having frank talk about race because Holder told us to.






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