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Charges reinstated against former Thetford Township Police Chief

Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio

Former Thetford Township police chief Robert Kenny has been charged with embezzlement and obstruction of justice — again.

That's after a circuit court judge reversed a district court judge's dismissal of the charges.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says the charges allege Kenny misused a federal military surplus program intended to bolster the inventories, and budgets, of local law enforcement agencies.

He says Kenny sold $5,000 dollars worth of surplus items to a scrap yard, and kept the money for himself.

"There may be far more out there that we were unable to uncover," says Leyton. "This we could get our hands on, this we could show a case, so I think this is kinda maybe the tip of the iceberg."

Records from the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) which oversees military surplus distribution to local law enforcement agencies, show Thetford Township received more than a million dollars' worth of surplus military equipment in 2012 alone.

Investigators say Kenny did not keep records of what he did with all the material.  Some of it was found stored on neighboring farms, owned by friends and supporters of Kenny.

Kenny was fired from his job as police chief in February.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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