Detroit police sergeant suspended amid FBI probe

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A Detroit police sergeant has been suspended amid an FBI investigation into allegations she sold information in traffic crash reports to a third party, who used the stolen material to perpetrate fraud, according to internal police documents.

The third party used the information in the crash reports to contact drivers and passengers, and convince them to obtain unnecessary legal and medical services, and file lawsuits, according to two Detroit police memos obtained by The Detroit News.

“(The sergeant) confirmed she has been providing information contained in State of Michigan UD-10 Crash Reports prepared by various members of the Detroit Police Department to a ‘third party’ on a daily basis, which allowed the ‘third party’ to contact victims and solicit them,” an April 19 memo said.

“(The sergeant) further indicated she would be compensated anywhere from $1,000 to $1,200 a week for the information she provided,” one memo said.

The sergeant, whose name is being withheld because she has not been charged with a crime, works with the Lieutenants and Sergeants Association union. She was suspended last week with pay, according the memos dated April 19.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said: “I can’t comment on any pending federal investigations.”

Lieutenants and Sergeants Association President Mark Young said federal agents seized the sergeant’s computer from the union offices Wednesday.

“The LSA is cooperating with the investigation, and we don’t condone this type of behavior,” Young said. “This all happened while she was off-duty, and has nothing to do with the union. This conduct is reprehensible. She tarnished the badge.”

A second memo discussing the allegations against the sergeant, also dated April 19, said: “The nature of the crimes alleged against (the sergeant) includes her gaining access, while off duty, into the secure password protected ... Record Management System Database.

“After gaining access to the system, (the sergeant) would view and print out ... Crash Reports containing sensitive and privileged information collected from victims involved in motor vehicle accidents throughout the City of Detroit,” the memo said.

“The information would then be provided to a ‘third party,’ who would compensate (the sergeant) for the information,” the memo said. “The ‘third party’ would make direct contact with involved victims and passengers in an attempt to solicit them into receiving legal and medical assistance, which would normally not be required,” the memo said.

“In addition, the information would be utilized to generate or inflate fraudulent claims, as well as to assist in seeking civil and personal injury lawsuits,” the memo said.

Per the City Charter, the police chief must solicit the Board of Police Commissioners to withhold an officer’s pay during a suspension.

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN