Embattled ex-Oakley Police Chief Robert Reznick gets high-powered support

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (6/21/2019) - The former Oakley Police Chief is set to be sentenced next week for wire fraud and filing a false income tax return.

Several public figures have written letters in support of Robert Reznick, asking the judge for leniency. Among them are a Mid-Michigan sheriff and prosecutor.

Reznick pleaded guilty in March to the crimes in U.S. District Court. Investigators say he used his position as police chief in Oakley to obtain reduced prices on firearms, ammunition and other equipment from suppliers, then sold it to reserve officers for personal profit.

Reznick recruited a roster of approximately 120 reserve officers, most of whom lived outside of Oakley. The town has about 300 people.

Controversy over those officers eventually led to the end of the reserve program and Oakley now has one part-time police officer.

Federal judge Thomas Ludington will sentence Reznick next week, after receiving several letters in support of giving Reznick a lenient sentence.

One letter is from Iosco County Prosecutor Gary Rapp, who said he has been friends with Reznick for 35 years. Rapp admits Reznick made what he calls a "lousy mistake," but believes this should not be the defining moment of his life.

Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole wrote another positive letter. He begins his letter by writing "it's a rare occasion that I would write a letter to show support for person that is pleading guilty to a crime, however, I feel its important to tell you about my friend."

BeGole said Reznick has spent more than three decades in law enforcement and he thought it was worthy to write a letter to focus on the positive things Reznick has done.

Other letters came from current Oakley Village Council members, a retired Detroit judge and several people who were once listed as police reservists in Oakley.

Reznick's attorney is asking Ludington to sentence his client to a term of probation or home confinement. Federal prosecutors will also file their own memorandum before next Thursday's sentencing in Bay City's federal court.

In earlier court papers, prosecutors indicated they wanted to see Reznick spend at least one year behind bars and pay restitution of more than $125,000.