MSP investigates drug unit over office drinking

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
Michigan State Police logo

Flint – Three members of a Michigan State Police drug task force have been reassigned after an internal inquiry revealed that officers, including high-ranking members of the special unit, took part in an office drinking party.

Those affected are part of the Flint Area Narcotics Group, one of nearly two dozen anti-drug units around the state headed by Michigan State Police. FANG investigates illegal drug trafficking and crime in Genesee County with the help of “loaned” police manpower, fees and resources from other departments.

A special FANG executive board meeting is set for Thursday, board chairman Mark Emmendorfer said Wednesday. The executive board approves the 17-member group’s $1.8 million annual budget and expenditures.

“We called a special meeting because of all the rumors circulating about this,” said Emmendorfer, who's also the supervisor of Montrose Township. “State Police will provide us with details on what they think happened and what will happen next.

“It’s a good group that does good work,” he said. “We just need to be briefed on what happened before we discuss this any further with our members.”

State Police spokeswoman Lori Dougovito issued a statement Wednesday confirming there is an ongoing internal misconduct investigation that has determined several members “while off-duty and after work hours, consumed alcohol at the FANG office.”

“The investigation involved five MSP enlisted members, three of whom are command officers,” according to a release provided by Dougovito. “The disciplinary proceedings for all involved are pending at this time. In the interim, the command officers involved have been reassigned to administrative duties or are on administrative leave.”

She said Lt. Shannon Sims has been reassigned from the MSP Lapeer post to be the new commander of FANG.

This is most recent incident involving misconduct by State Police personnel. In May, two polygraph examiners attending a conference on Mackinac Island were charged with theft after allegedly taking a joyride on a stolen bicycle.

A state trooper and former head of the Auto Theft Prevention Authority, a statewide group, filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging his uniform, badge and duties were taken from him after he reported to authority members that state police were misappropriating funds designated for auto theft and using them to buy a computer and pay the salary of a civilian.

Both of those matters are still pending.

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