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Police chief won’t be charged in political sign removal

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Waterford Township — A police chief on personal leave pending a nearly six-month investigation for political sign theft did not commit any crimes, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

Leyton announced his office will not authorize criminal charges against Waterford Township Police Chief Dan McCaw for the removal of a campaign sign last July. Leyton's office was asked to review a Michigan State Police investigation by the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

Leyton said a review of the incident — in which McCaw, off duty and in street clothes, was seen pulling up a "Vote No on the Millage it's a tax increase" sign and putting it in his personal vehicle on July 18 — found that probable cause did not exist that McCaw had committed a crime.

The probe found the sign was illegally placed in the ground in the right-of-way and McCaw was within "the realm of his office" in removing it.

The sign's owner had filed a complaint with police, which noted other political signs in the same area were undisturbed by McCaw. The millage, which impacted McCaw's budget, was eventually passed by the township's voters.

Leyton said in a press release that McCaw's decision to remove some signs and not others was irrelevant as to whether a crime was committed.

McCaw, who maintained he never did anything wrong, has been on a paid administrative leave since September as the incident was investigated by State Police. Neither he nor his attorney could be reached for comment Thursday.

A message to Waterford Township Supervisor Gary Wall also was not returned. Wall said the township was conducting its own internal investigation of the incident.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319