DECATUR, Mich. (WOOD) - The Southwest Commercial Auto Recovery (SCAR) Unit arrested a police officer after he allegedly embezzled fees meant to be turned over to the Decatur Police Department.
Officer James Richardson, 65, arraigned Monday on one count of embezzlement by a public official, also a 10-year felony.
He allegedly failed to report fees he collected as a salvage vehicle inspector for Decatur.
In June, Richardson was placed on unpaid suspension from the Decatur Police Department as a criminal investigation was underway. In August, 24 Hour News 8 was told that the suspension stemmed from a violation of department policy.
Also in August, Michigan State Police confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that the investigation had to do Richardson's salvage vehicle inspections.
Those inspections must be conducted by someone connected with a police department and the payments from them are supposed to go back to the department. Michigan State Police confirmed its investigation had to do with that money and whether it reached its intended destination.
Richardson has worked for Decatur PD for about 7 years. Before that, he retired as a Michigan State Police trooper, having worked on that force for 15 years.
The multi-jurisdictional auto theft team SCAR is made up of detectives from Kalamazoo Public Safety, Kalamazoo Township Police Department and the Michigan State Police, according to a release, and serves Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties.
A memorial is scheduled Thursday night for three young siblings who died in an apartment fire 10 months ago.
A donation account has been set up to help the family with its search to find a missing loved one.
Wind chills will be in the single figures Thursday, with snowfall totals in the 1- to 3-inch range.