Sheriff: Facebook page is lying about accusations.

November 27, 2017

Sheriff Mast

Sheriff: Facebook page is lying about accusations.

#OceanaCountyNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A Facebook page called “West Michigan News and Events” is making false accusations against Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast and Lt. Shane Hasty, and Mast has cleared the air.

The sheriff issued a press release Monday, Nov. 27, which states the following:

“Sheriff Mast would like to be forthright and transparent about the recent accusations that are being made via social media about our salvage vehicle inspection procedures. First and foremost, we want the citizens of Oceana County to know that there is absolutely no merit or truth to the accusations being made.

“On November 22, 2017, a second Facebook post on the page, ‘Muskegon News and Events,’ now named, ‘West Michigan News and Events,’ came out accusing Lt. Hasty and Sheriff Mast of wrongdoing.

“The accusations began after removing a local towing company from

Lt. Hasty

our non-preference wrecker rotation following a citizen complaint regarding a bill they had received from this towing
company. The complainant was billed $1,461.18 to respond to a car/deer crash on US 31 near Stony Lake Road. The complainant’s vehicle was subsequently towed to this towing company’s storage facility against the owner’s request.

“The local towing company is also demanding that this be investigated by the Michigan State Police, or the State Attorney General’s Office. We welcome any investigating agency to come and audit our records or procedures with regard to salvage vehicle inspections.

“We ourselves have contacted the Michigan State Police, Michigan Secretary of State – Department of Regulatory Affairs, and the Oceana County Prosecutor’s Office about these accusations and demands. We contacted these agencies to determine if the method of handling salvage vehicle inspections as set forth and continued by the prior 16+ years of administration here are within the guidelines of the State of Michigan. At this time neither Lieutenant Hasty, nor Sheriff Mast are being investigated by any agency.”

The ‘West Michigan News and Events’ Facebook page post on Wednesday stated: “Update: We can now confirm that an investigation is underway into Lt. Shane Hasty of Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for embezzlement of funds. The investigation is into his alleged involvement as a salvage vehicle inspector and not turning over the funds collected from those inspections into the county. As many of our readers may remember, the Former Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson was sentenced to jail and restitution of $70,000 remains uncollected. We have received other information that Sheriff Craig Mast is also under investigation for allegedly attempting to intimidate a witness and for malfeasance in office.”

The post, which had a photo of Lt. Hasty, was shared 109 times. As of late Monday afternoon, the post remained on the page, and it is the only post on that Facebook page.

Mast told OCP he preferred not to specifically name the towing company involved. “I would like to stay on the high ground,” he said. “I’m trying to do what’s best for our county.”

Mast said there were several several towing bills from this particular company that were “excessively high.”

“I want to prevent our residents and travelers from being exposed to this practice,” he said. “We just just wanted to cut our alliances. My intent is protect our community.”

The sheriff said that dealing with the false allegations has cut into the sheriff’s office time and resources. “There is a lot more responsible use of our time,” he said.

At this point it is not immediately known whether criminal charges will be filed against the towing company or if a civil lawsuit may launched for the false posting. OCP will provide further updates when they are available.

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.A

 

 

 

 

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