(06/11/13) - Three Bay City public safety officers are on paid administrative leave accused of taking something that does not belong to them.
The alleged incident took place on May 2.
Our sources tell us the item in question is a cellphone. Bay City Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini won't confirm that, but does say the item was valued at a "few hundred dollars".
Now an internal investigation and a criminal investigation are underway.
According to Cecchini, a man claimed three officers took something from him. The three officers involved have been identified as Don Aldrich, Brian Ritchey and Keith Bartynski.
The internal investigation started shortly after the May 2 incident, as did the criminal case which is being lead by the Bay County Sheriff's Office.
We are told the report for that investigation has been turned over to the prosecutor for review.
The internal investigation could be done any day now. The internal matter will determine what, if any, discipline the officers could face. The most severe would be termination.
The criminal case would proceed just like one involving civilians.
Cecchini says placing the officers on leave is not something he took lightly. "We police our own well, and we will hold our employees, if found responsible, or if these allegations are sustained, we'll hold them accountable."
ABC12 did speak with the business agent for the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the union representing the officers. Dan Kuhn says he has not seen the reports yet. The union won't determine what action to take, until they see the report and find out what actions, if any, the police department or prosecutor are pursuing.
ABC12 Main Station