Police Chief Craig betrays no-snitching culture by calling FBI. Why didn’t Rev. Sheffield?


Chief Craig
Chief Craig

Three of Detroit’s most powerful figures gathered at an Eastern Market bar and talked about a suspected payoff scheme at city hall.

Only one called authorities. That was Detroit Police Chief James Craig, a relative newbie to a city where snitching is taboo, even among high-ranking officials.

So why did the Rev. Horace Sheffield III and political consultant Adolph Mongo stay quiet about allegations of more city hall corruption? Especially ones against a key witness in the trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick?

I called them Sunday to find out.

Rev. Sheffield
Rev. Sheffield

It all started like this: Mongo and Rev. Sheffield, who is running for Congress, met up at Cutter’s Bar and Grill in February but didn’t expect to run into the police chief. After Chief Craig began talking to Mongo, the trio decided to sit together and talk.

Mongo and Sheffield began discussing “rumors” that Thomas Hardiman, president and CEO of A&H Contractors in Detroit, was trying to bribe council members to influence the outcome of the vote for council president in early January. Sheffield said he was angry because the contractor apparently approached his daughter, new Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, about the vote.

“The issue for me was that someone who benefited from such a terrible scandal that involved the mayor would have a conversation with my daughter,” Sheffield said.

So why not call authorities?

“I wasn’t reporting a crime,” Sheffield told me. “I was reporting my disgust with him having a conversation with my daughter.”

Sheffield said he now wishes he had kept his mouth shut.

“Had I known that he was going to take it to that level, I wouldn’t have said anything,” he said.

I couldn’t reach Mongo for comment.

For Craig, there was no question about calling the FBI.

“I’m obligated,” the chief told the Free Press. “If someone brings information to me regarding an alleged crime, I’m obligated to take appropriate action.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Gregory Watson

    Hooray for Chief James Craig. He, like Mayor Duggan, is a breath of much-needed fresh air for the City of Detroit.

  • Dust Buster

    snitchin revs? go to smoking gun site and check out what a snitch al sharpton turned out to be. wore a wire for the feds and all sorts of things.

    • L Jerome Dmongo

      Add Adolph Mongo

  • L Jerome Dmongo

    If you think Freado didn’t set that up meaning Adolph Mongo, I suggest you stay out of the street. Now let me tell you how the Street reads this situation, Freado knows a certain powerful man wants Conyers back in, he has made a lot of money working for this man Freado had to sabotage the Rev. campaign which he was paid for, then Freado cuts a deal with the Kevin Orr people and let them know all this will happen and they paid him, so that the Republicans can control the purse strings in Detroit with over site committee by saying they are to corrupt to be trusted. But who’s really hurt is a young Lady the REV. Daughter. And she suppose to have gone to her Father for advice, But Freado should have not have done what he did. the Punk, is A. Moral.

  • Mc Arter

    That entire conversation was a bunch of munbo jumbo aimed at seeing if they had any chance of corrupting the chief, so that slying exposed a tid bit of a little something to see what his reaction would be!

  • Cassandra InDetroit

    One WAS/is the authority. Craig is the Chief, so Sheffield did report it to him for him to take the necessary action.

    • muckraker_steve

      Sheffield said he would have said nothing had he known the chief would have used this information.

      • Cassandra InDetroit

        What? I believe you but it’s just crazy for him to think, let alone say …he’s the police chief. That’s like telling a dog with flees not to scratch. He’s a sworn Officer of the Law why’d the chief want to protect Sheffield’s daughter.

        Know too, he has a certain amount of ‘street cre” he’d like to preserve that “don’t snitch’ mentality. I know it’s crazy but that’s how my people play both sides of the street.

        • Ceasar Romero

          Cassabdra I don’t know you and you may be much smarter than your post leads me to believe but you sound like a complete idiot. Please stop with that mentality you tried to describe because if we never change it this city will never make any positive changes. Call it like it is in the “real” world and not in Detroit. Sheffield was wrong not the Chief.

  • CTMotownGirl

    Sheffield was “testing” the chief. If Craig hadn’t reported this, Sheffield would have thought he had someone on the inside to do his bidding. He knew good and well he wasn’t telling the freaking Chief of police this information out of disgust. Get outta here with that noise reverend. As far as the dummy who dropped the “snitches get stitches” crap, he is the POLICE chief you IDIOT. Keep your ghetto hood-rat jail bonding b.s. to yourself. Those days are over and locked up with your boy Kwame. Too many innocent citizens getting stitches for real because of the low-life who think they own this town. Hit the road. Your days are numbered.

  • Sizz

    Snitches get stitches. Should have served the others right to know that they were talking in confidence with a professional rat.

    • Dust Buster

      wow tough guy. i bet you give a lot of folks stitches dont ya? so if craig is a professional rat, as you say than what profession is sheffield? mongo goes without saying since he has helped some of the most inept and crooked flotsam rise to office in detroit

    • Razahir Attikus Kain

      Sizz shut your pretentious ass up !

    • MrsJefferson Bennett

      That is so ignorant.

  • bebow

    Good job, Chief Craig. It seems the Rev. was playing games, and Chief Craig didn’t let himself get drawn into the dum-dum.

  • Black Junior

    In this incident James Craig has “bit off his nose, despite his face”…. What an idiot…..

    • muckraker_steve

      How so? Since when is it a stupid thing for a police chief to unveil corruption?

      • Black Junior

        As an unwritten rule most “bar talk” between people is usually Off The Record & Confidential…. By doing this James Craig has put himself in a position where nobody with any sense will have a decent conversation with him…

        • muckraker_steve

          I gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.

        • Willy

          Welcome to Detroit-the definition of crazy. I got nothin’ else…sigh.

    • Willy

      Not intending to be an arrogant condescending prick, but the quote is: “cut off his nose to spite his face”.

      …and the Chief did EXACTLY what he was supposed to do. How many of us still recall the intrepid Ella Bully-Cummings, lackey to Kwame Kilpatrick who put politics and personal survival above doing her sworn duty to protect the city from EXACTLY this kind of corruption.

    • Dust Buster

      sounds like you want chief craig to keep it real. Since we are using analogies to make a point here, i would like to use one that supports chief craig’s stance on snitching ” if you do what you do you get how you get” its very profound and it applies here like a hand on a glove

  • Dust Buster

    craig seems like the best chief they have had in a long time.the dope guys but a paper on him. the common street urchins dont like him and he has more morals than a street preacher/activist/pulpit pimp. maybe horace can gain some street cred and marry monica conyers once john finally agrees to sit on a coach, watch tv and play cards with the other people that were smart enough to retire 30 years ago and enjoy their 90’s