Half block of new sidewalk spawns police investigation into Ubly official

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UBLY (WJRT) (3/7/2018) - The Michigan State Police are close to wrapping up a criminal investigation into the former village manager of the small town of Ubly.

A half block of sidewalk built in front of a bank last year is at the center of the investigation.

The Ubly Village Council approved a sidewalk plan for what to build and repair as part of the 2017 budget. The sidewalk in question along Garfield Street on the east side of town was not included.

Dave Yaroch, who was village president in 2017 until he resigned last week, acknowledged that he told Department of Public Works Supervisor Carl Weber that a sidewalk would be nice to have along Garfield Street.

"It connects the bank to the park so people wouldn't have to walk on the street anymore," Yaroch said.

Weber apparently took the suggestion literally, because the sidewalk was constructed. But in October, village council members questioned the placement of the sidewalk because it wasn't in the village's plan.

That led to a Michigan State Police investigation into a possible inappropriate use of funds. Yaroch's actions are the target of that investigation.

He denies ordering the new sidewalk to be constructed and claims the whole situation is a misunderstanding. Yaroch called the interaction with Weber "a conversation between you and I on the street."

Yaroch resigned as village president last week, as did two other trustees on the council.

"I resigned because I was unable to take and implement policies and procedures of the village. Everything stopped," Yaroch said.

Once police are done with the investigation, Huron County Prosecutor Tim Rutkowski said it will be sent to another county to determine if there will be criminal charges.

"I do have a close relationship with one of the council members and so as a result it should go to the Attorney General's Office to make a decision on," he said.

Meanwhile, Yaroch continues working on opening a yoga studio in a building he owns while he waits on the outcome of the police probe.

"I have people offering to pay the money and dedicate it to the David Yaroch Memorial Sidewalk," he said.

The Michigan State Police detective handling the investigation said he has to interview one more person before he wraps up his part of the case.

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