The host of a popular Detroit AM radio show could be in hot water with the authorities.
The Detroit News reports federal agents are investigating $75,000 in payments made to a company owned by Mildred Gaddis, WCHB 1200 AM radio host.
Two regular guest hosts on Gaddis’ show “Inside Detroit” made the payments, ex-Wayne County Assistant Executive Michael Grundy and Highland Park school board member Robert Davis. The two are now under indictment for embezzling public funds.
The News cites invoices showing $45,000 paid to Gaddis’ private company ExCel Media by Wayne County HealthChoice, the insurance company managed by Grundy. Federal court records allege her company received $30,000 from a company called Zeneco that may have been involved in Davis’ embezzlement from Highland Park Schools.
This isn’t Gaddis’ first brush with alleged impropriety involving money and broadcasting. In 2009 she was fired from her public access show on WADL-TV after a WXYZ report accused her of a pay-for-play scandal involving her taking cash payments from Detroit City Council candidates in exchange for interviews. According to MLive, reports alleged she was charging council hopefuls $1,000 a piece for airtime without announcing the payments.
The Michigan Citizen reports that Gaddis admitted to taking $136,000 from the Detroit Public Schools in 2005, but failed to disclose the relationship to her listeners on her WCBH show.
Gaddis’ spokesman Greg Bowens told the News that ExCel had indeed taken money from the two companies, but said it had not been exchanged for any special on-air treatment.
Federal Communication Commission policy generally prohibits broadcasters from running paid programming without notifying the public.
Flickr photo by Curtis Kennington.