Northfield Twp. Officer Among 7 Charged With Fraudulent Vehicle Checks
March 23, 2018
The Michigan attorney general's office has accused seven current and former police officers, including one from a local department, with falsifying state documents for inspections intended to detect stolen vehicles and parts.
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday the officers who have served several local police departments have been charged in the case. Among them is Lt. Tim Greene with the Northfield Township Police department. The 42-year-old from Romulus had been authorized to conduct inspections by the Hamburg Township Police Department. Also charged was former Van Buren Township Officer Robert Greene, 64, of Canton. He too was authorized to conduct inspections by the Hamburg Township Police Department as was 43-year-old John Greene of Wyandotte, who was a Detroit Public Schools Public Safety Officer. Robert Greene is the father of Tim and John Greene. All three were arraigned on various counts of Uttering and Publishing in 53rd District Court in Howell. Probable Cause Conferences were set for April 4th in front of Judge Suzanne Geddis.
Hamburg Township Police Chief Rick Duffany says the statute which allows specially certified officers to inspect vehicles and ensure they are not stolen before getting a title, gives municipalities a portion of the inspection fee and in a time of tight budgets becomes a necessary way to raise revenue. He says the trio entered into a contract with the township in 2012, which was immediately terminated by the board in November of 2016 after he learned about the investigation. No Hamburg officers were involved nor is the department in any way implicated in the investigation.
The felony charges follow an investigation by the FBI Detroit-Area Public Corruption Task Force and Michigan State Police. Also charged was a Redford Police Department Detective, a Detroit Police Officer, a former Chief of the Bangor Police Department a former Riverview Police Officer. Jeffery E. Peterson, of the Detroit FBI office, said, “The unlawful conduct committed by these few officers should not tarnish the badges or reputations of the vast majority of Michigan’s law enforcement professionals.”
Schuette says the officers were supposed to ensure that vehicles inspected and approved for motor vehicle titles weren't stolen. He alleges they fraudulently submitted paperwork to the Secretary of State. State Police and the Secretary of State will work together to ensure all vehicles involved in the case have a proper salvage vehicle inspection. They say it may involve directly contacting the registered owners of vehicles improperly inspected to arrange for a new inspection. (JK)