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Ingham County sheriff apologizes for poor record keeping that led to dismissed cases

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth
Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth is apologizing for serious record keeping problems in the department’s evidence room.

Problems in the Ingham County sheriff’s evidence room date back to 2010, when the current sheriff’s father was Ingham County’s top cop.

Gene Wriggelsworth was Ingham County Sheriff for 30 years.  He stepped down last year.  His son Scott was elected to succeed him.  

Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says the “chain of evidence” in about 1700 cases is incomplete, among them more than 500 drug related cases. The result of the poor record keeping is prosecutors have dismissed more than 70 cases, including 22 felony cases.

“I think there are a lot of different reasons as to why that happened,” Wriggelsworth says, “But in my opinion the number one reason why that happened and why it happened for so long, is that some quartermasters just didn’t care.”

The Michigan State Police is investigating to see if any criminal laws have been broken.

Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth says he expects the MSU investigation will soon be complete. He declined to comment on that investigation.

At this point, Wriggelsworth is not planning to reprimand any of the current officers who have may have direct responsibility for the problems in the department’s handling of evidence.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.