Fired police chief charged with 6 felonies.

August 2, 2016
Former Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson appears in 78th District Court Tuesday morning for his arraignment.

Former Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson appears in 78th District Court Tuesday morning for his arraignment.

#OceanaCountyNews #ShelbyNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — Former Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson, 62, was arraigned in 78th District Court Tuesday, Aug. 2, on six felony charges, one of which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Wilson, of 2560 S. 80th Ave., Shelby, faces one count of embezzlement $50,000-$100,000, which is a 15-year felony, and five counts of motor vehicle code – false certification, each of which are punishable by up to five years in prison. The charges stem from alleged fraudulent vehicle inspections, according to Michigan State Police First Lt. Jeff White, commander of the Hart post.

Wilson was fired by the Shelby Village Council with a 5-1 vote last January following an internal investigation that revealed that he had been doing salvage vehicle inspections without notifying the village and without paying the village the money from the inspections, Village Administrator Chelsea Stratil said previously.

MSP Detective Sgt. David Johnson of the Hart post conducted the months-long investigation, White said. The investigation was recently concluded and turned over to the Michigan State Attorney General’s Office, which is handling the prosecution, he said.

Wilson’s investigation was sparked after Stratil received “an anonymous complaint,” Village President Paul Inglis said previously.

It was publicly announced by the village last December that Wilson was suspended from his job without pay pending an internal investigation, and Police Officer Terry TenBrink was named “acting chief” in the meantime. TenBrink has since been hired as the chief.

Wilson was forced to resign as chief in 2007 but was then re-hired by a different village council about two years later. Tim French was hired as police chief in October of 2007 and resigned in December of 2008.

The money collected from the inspections is required to go through the village coffers, Inglis said. “There is no accounting of those funds, which is our biggest concern.” The village requested that Wilson provide documents of approximately 700 inspections that he conducted, and he never supplied them, Inglis said.

Councilman William Harris said in January that he voted for termination, because Wilson was not putting in “an honest day’s work.” Harris specifically cited Oct 29 when Wilson claimed that he worked eight hours for the village, but then clocked four hours of inspections in Traverse City and six hours of inspections in Ravenna.

Wilson’s yearly salary was $48,000, Inglis said.

Wilson’s bail was set at $10,000/10 percent, which he posted. A preliminary conference is scheduled for Aug. 22. Judge H. Kevin Drake appointed Tim Hayes as Wilson’s attorney and continued Wilson’s bond. According to Wilson’s court file, Assistant Attorney General Oronde Patterson is prosecuting the case.

Wilson had no comment in regard to the charges.

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