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December 9, 2013

Former Birmingham mayor arrested again on meth charges

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

On Nov. 20, former Birmingham Mayor Seth Chafetz was arrested — again — on methamphetamine charges. It was the second time within four months.

According to Lt. Brent Miles, who heads up the narcotics unit at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Chafetz was unexpected “collateral damage” during an investigation of another suspect.

The Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Team had been following 24-year-old William Goddard, of Wyandotte, as he was suspected of distributing large amounts of meth around metro Detroit for some time. When NET officers followed Goddard to the parking lot of the Home Depot at 12 Mile and I-75 in Madison Heights Nov. 20, they learned he was there to meet with Chafetz and, according to Miles, was likely there to sell drugs to him.

“(Chafetz) had quite a bit of GBL on him, which turns into GHB — the date rape drug — when digested. He also had quite a bit of methamphetamines,” said Miles.

According to the police report, Chafetz had about 264 grams of meth on him, a little less than half a pound. He also had 189 grams of the GBL, or gamma-butyrolactone, in his possession at the time of the bust, police said.

Miles said that once police moved for a takedown at the scene, Chafetz began to complain of chest pains. As a precautionary measure, he was transported to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac and was arraigned there Nov. 22 before Magistrate Kimberly Wilson of Madison Heights’ 43rd District Court. He received a bond of $50,000 cash surety, with no 10 percent, and was lodged at the Oakland County Jail, along with Goddard. Both due back in court 8 a.m. Dec. 20.

It was in mid-August when Chafetz was busted at his Bloomfield Township home on drug charges, after NET officers were able to purchase $100 worth of meth at the house located in the 5300 block of Hickory Bend Circle, police said.

The arrest shocked many in Birmingham, who knew Chafetz from his time on the Birmingham City Commission from 1999-2003. He served as mayor pro tem in 2002 and mayor in 2003. He also served on the Library Board.

Current Birmingham Mayor Scott Moore, at the time of Chafetz’s previous arrest, said he had always shared a mutual respect with his fellow commissioner, though the two often didn’t see eye to eye politically.

“I never would’ve suspected this, not even close. If anything, he was one that adhered to city ordinance very strictly. Which is fine, that’s just why something like this would come as a great surprise,” said Moore in September.

Miles, however, wasn’t taken by surprise.

“I’m not shocked. He wasn’t the target of this investigation. We were looking at the other individual, and they happened to do a deal in front of officers,” he said. “But I’d definitely say he’s involved in it since he’s been arrested twice. I don’t know his level in the industry, but being arrested twice, I’d say he’s involved.”

Chafetz’s attorney did not return requests for comment by press time. An attorney for Goddard could not be reached by press time.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.