Gabe Leland

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Gabe Leland
Gabe Leland (crop).JPG
Member of the Detroit City Council from the 7th District
Assumed office
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 10th district
In office
January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2010
Preceded byTriette Reeves
Succeeded byHarvey Santana
Personal details
BornDetroit, Michigan
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materCentral Michigan University

Gabriel Leland is a Democratic politician from the state of Michigan. In 2004, Leland was elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives, representing the 10th District, which is located in Wayne County and includes the farwest and partial northwest corner of the city of Detroit. Leland currently[when?] serves on the Detroit City Council.


Gabriel Leland was born to Burton and Rosanne Leland, a Jewish family from Northwest Detroit. At the time of his birth, his father was serving as Democratic State Representative, a position that he would hold until 1998, when he was elected to the Michigan State Senate where he served until he retired from the legislature due to term limits in 2006. Gabe and his older brother Zachary spent much of their childhood working on the campaigns of their father, serving as voter registration drive workers and walking door to door with their father.

Leland attended both East Lansing and Detroit Public Schools and graduated from East Lansing High School in 2001.[1] He attended Kehillat Israel Congregation in Lansing, MI while growing up.[2]

Leland graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.S. / community development concentration. He attends the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit.

Political career[edit]

In 2004, following in the footsteps of his father, Gabe Leland announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the 10th State House District in Detroit to succeed Triette E. Reeves, who was retiring due to term limits. However, Leland faced much opposition in the Democratic Primary. The 10th District is approximately 70% African American and several prominent African Americans ran against Leland in the primary, including future State Representative from the 9th District, Shanelle Jackson. The primary was competitive and often racially charged. Leland narrowly won the Primary with only 21% of the vote. He went on to easily win the General Election, as the 10th District is heavily Democratic.

In 2006, several people again challenged Leland in the Democratic Primary, including Stephanie Young, who was supported by former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Leland won the primary with 53% of the vote. He won the 2008 Democratic primary with 68% of the vote and no Republican ran against him in the 2008 General Election. Term limits prevent Leland from running for re-election in 2010.

On November 5, 2013 Leland won the newly created Detroit City Council seat in District 7. It was the narrowest victory in any of the council races, winning by only 50 votes.[3][4] In 2017, Leland was re-elected with 56% of the vote.[5]

FBI Investigation[edit]

In July 2017, a Fox2 investigation revealed Leland has voted for, or extended, at least four contracts on behalf of Gasper Fiore. Fiore's daughter, Jennifer Fiore, is an attorney and executive in Fiore's companies. She has acknowledged that she dated Leland from late 2014 to early 2017. The contracts, or amendments, are valued at over two million dollars. In addition to providing towing services, Gasper Fiore was also an executive in companies that leased property to the Detroit Police Department and removed snow from Detroit streets. In May 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Gasper Fiore on bribery and fraud charges for paying a Clinton Township trustee to support a towing contract for Fiore's companies.[6]

In December 2017, the Detroit Free Press obtained FBI wiretap transcripts that were unsealed in U.S. District Court. The investigation is linked to the corruption case against Gasper Fiore. In December 2017, Fiore entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, in which he agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery. According to court documents, the government had probable cause that Fiore and 17 other targets, including Leland, were involved in several crimes, including: extortion, wire fraud, bribery and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.[7]

Extortion lawsuit[edit]

In March 2018, businessman Robert Carmack filed a lawsuit against Leland in Federal Court for extortion. The lawsuit claims that Carmack asked Leland for help with a property that he owned, but was unsuccessful in his attempts for two years until a few weeks prior to the August 2017 Primary Election.[8] According to Lawrence Garcia, of the City of Detroit Corporation Counsel, "Leland promised not to sell Carmack's property, located at 8124 Michigan Ave., if Carmack would give Leland $15,000 for his reelection campaign." [9]

After the request by Leland, Carmack went to the FBI for help who, according to Garcia, asked Carmack to wear a wire and pay Leland." While a camera was secretly recording, Carmack paid $7,500 to a Leland campaign staffer, a payment which was allegedly confirmed by Leland on tape.[10] Carmack also claims Leland asked him to fix Leland’s secretary’s car for free. In spite of Carmack’s attempts to curry favor, Leland put Carmack’s property on the city council agenda to sell it.[11]

Electoral history[edit]

Map of Wayne County with the 10th District highlighted in bold
  • 2017 campaign for Detroit City Council District 7
    • Gabe Leland, 56%
    • Regina Ross, 44%
  • 2013 campaign for Detroit City Council District 7
    • Gabe Leland, 49.11%
    • John K. Bennett, 48.81%
  • 2008 campaign for State House
    • Gabe Leland (D), 95%
    • Marc Sosnowski (UST), 5%
  • 2008 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Gabe Leland (D), 68%
    • LaTanya Garrett (D), 27%
    • Brian Sylvester (D), 6%
  • 2006 campaign for State House
    • Gabe Leland (D), 94%
    • Thomas Shaut (R), 6%
  • 2006 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Gabe Leland (D), 53%
    • Stephanie Young (D), 28%
    • Barbra Long (D), 8%
    • Ron Johnson (D), 4%
    • Thomas Jackson (D), 3%
  • 2004 campaign for State House
    • Gabe Leland (D), 91%
    • Reuben Myers (R), 9%
  • 2004 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Gabe Leland (D), 21%
    • Jim Edmondson, Jr. (D), 18%
    • Barbra Long (D), 17%
    • Shanelle Jackson (D), 17%
    • Carolyn Chambers (D), 10%
    • Ron Johnson (D), 6%
    • Michael Grundy (D), 5%


  1. ^ "High School Alumni in East Lansing, Michigan (MI) - Last Names C-H".
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Gabe Leland".
  3. ^ "Newly elected Detroit council members look ahead". Detroit Free Press.
  4. ^ "November 5, 2013 Official Election Results" (PDF).
  5. ^ "November 7, 2017 Unofficial General Election Results" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Accidentally exposed court records reveal new names in corruption probe". MLive. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  7. ^ Violet Ikonomova (29 December 2017). "Reports: Detroit city councilman and former state rep. targeted in public corruption probe". Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland accused of extorting thousands for political favor". Click on Detroit.
  9. ^ "Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland accused of extorting thousands for political favor". Click on Detroit.
  10. ^ "Lawsuit alleges extortion by Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland". WXYZ.
  11. ^ "Lawsuit alleges extortion by Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland". WXYZ.

External links[edit]