GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (5/3/2019) - The owner of a Clio-area scrap yard said he had permission from Thetford Township to write Police Chief Robert Kenny a check for military surplus equipment.
Shawna Myers, the former manager of Monster Scrap, said she spoke with the former Thetford Township supervisor, who told her to write a $1,700 check for the proceeds of recycling the equipment directly to Kenny.
He is accused of pocketing the money. Police say Kenny deposited $1,100 into a personal account and took the remaining $600 in cash.
The Genesee County Sheriff's Office arrested Kenny in August and the township board placed him on unpaid administrative leave while the case is pending.
Kenny appeared in Genesee County District Court on Friday for a preliminary hearing on charges of embezzlement and obstruction of justice.
Thetford Township's two-person police department accepted more than 3,000 surplus items worth $2.5 million from the military, including a rock climbing wall, sleeping bags and a large forklift.
Myers said she accepted recyclable scrap material from Kenny and called former Thetford Township Supervisor Eileen Kerr about what to do with the check.
"That's when Eileen said just make it out to him, so when he came back in I told him I talked to Eileen and he said go ahead and make it out to me,” Myers testified Friday.
The Law Enforcement Supports Office supervisor who helps distribute military surplus equipment to municipalities across the state said they can sell the equipment after one year. Larry George said there is one strict rule.
"The purpose would be that it would go back to benefit that law enforcement agency,” George said.
The current township supervisor said he never saw any of the money from Kenny.
"Anything over $500 would have to come through the Treasurer's Office,” current Thetford Township Supervisor Gary Stevens said.
The judge will use testimony and evidence presented Friday to decide whether Kenny should stand trial on the charges against him.
Defense attorney Frank Manley left the courthouse Friday feeling confident.
“We're pleased on how it has gone so far, but we will continue to work very hard for chief Kenny,” Manley said.
Two more witnesses are scheduled to testify when the preliminary hearing continues in June. The judge will decide whether to order a trial after that.