Former police chief sentenced to 150 days in jail for embezzlement.

June 5, 2017

Bob Wilson, at right, with his attorney, Timothy Hayes.

Former police chief sentenced to 150 days in jail for embezzlement.

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By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — Former Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson, 62, was sentenced to serve 150 days in jail and ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution for felony convictions of embezzlement $20,000-$50,000 and false vehicle code certification in 27th Circuit Court Monday afternoon, June 5.

Wilson, who pleaded guilty to the charges April 21, appeared teary-eyed in court Monday.

Wilson was fired by the Shelby Village Council in January of 2016 following an internal investigation that revealed he had been doing salvage vehicle inspections without notifying the village and without paying the village the money from the inspections.

Wilson’s attorney, Timothy Hayes, told Judge Robert D. Springstead that his client has lived in the Village of Shelby for over 40 years. Wilson had also worked in law enforcement for over 40 years, Hayes said.

“He has no criminal record,” the attorney said. “He stands before you as a first-time offender.”

“The court has spent a lot of time thinking about this case since I’ve taken the bench,” said Springstead, who took over as judge last March after Judge Anthony A. Monton retired.

“Should police officers or people in positions of authority be held to a higher standard?” the judge asked.

Wilson has given law enforcement a bad reputation, Springstead said. “For your brothers and sisters in uniform, you have done a terrible disservice. You also defamed a small community of good people.”

“Actions like yours erode trust all across the US for people in uniform. You breached the public trust. You don’t seem to take any responsibility for your actions. You won’t admit that you are a thief. Arrogance does not speak well for you. You are unrepentant. You have put a black mark on the Village of Shelby.”

Wilson was also ordered to a one-year discretionary term and three years probation. Springstead gave credit for one day served in jail.

It will be up to a Shelby Village Council vote to determine if any money is owed to Wilson for wages, which would then offset his $70,000 restitution, the judge said. “As long as the work was done lawfully,” he said. “It’s up to the village to decide.”

Wilson was initially charged with 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.

Michigan State Assistant Attorney General Oronde Patterson, who handled the prosecution, offered the plea agreement of an added count of embezzlement $20,000-$50,000, which is a 10-year felony.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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