DETROIT — A Detroit affiliate of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has legally challenged Detroit's deal with Synagro to provide sludge incineration, according to The Michigan Citizen. This is part of an ongoing dispute over the city's dealings with the company, which the FBI is investigating.

The council voted 5-4 to approve a deal without soliciting bids in November of 2007. The deal was expected to save the city $5 million annually.

The suit alleges that the city charter prevents privatization without voter approval and alleges corruption in the bidding process, according to The Michigan Citizen.

A federal investigation is occurring, but at the moment news stories have only reported that people have been called to testify before a grand jury on the issue.

References: "People must vote on Synagro," The Michigan Citizen, Aug. 17, 2008

"Detroit businessman testifies before grand jury in Synagro probe," Clickondetroit.com, Sep 17, 2008