PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Jay Spencer is running unopposed for supervisor of Plainfield Township in Kent County, but a just-begun criminal investigation is looking into the way he handled the estate of a family member.
Spencer is a real estate man and served as the trustee of Norman Boike's estate. Boike, who died in January 2010, was the grandfather of Spencer's wife.
Three of Boike's five adult children hired a lawyer after they became convinced Spencer took about $28,000 from the trust's bank account.
"Our attorney couldn't believe someone so, just right out, would use the account as his own," said one of Boike's children, Kris Roth. "We want to see receipts. We want to see what you've done. Could you tell us what's happened to the money? (Spencer) would never show us anything."
Roth showed Target 8 investigators a check register from the trust's account which they say their lawyer got from Spencer's attorney. The register shows more than two dozen withdrawals from what were called "loan funds" to LRS/USH -- two of Spencer's companies, Lifetime Realty Services and US Home.
They petitioned the probate court to remove Spencer as trustee, but he resigned as the trustee before a hearing could be held, family members said.
They also said he has paid back the money.
In an unrelated case involving US Home, a Nevada company is trying to collect a $28,000 judgment against Spencer for failing to pay royalties after he bought the business.
Target 8 tried to talk with Spencer at his real estate office in Lowell, but he refused to talk on-camera.
"Not at this time, OK? There'll be a time," he said.
The sheriff's department said its investigation is in its "infancy." And the prosecutor's office may or may not decide to charge Spencer with a crime.
If it does and if he's convicted of a felony after he's elected, Plainfield Township board members could remove him from office by declaring the position vacant.
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