2 Taylor cops on leave in probe of auto inspection fees
Two Taylor police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave amid a state investigation into alleged fraud involving vehicle inspections.
Councilman Herman “Butch” Ramik, a former Taylor police officer, said he blew the whistle on the alleged fraud when he discovered the two cops weren’t turning in $100 fees paid to inspect salvaged vehicles.
The Detroit News is not naming the officers because they have not been charged with a crime.
“The inspections allow these salvaged vehicles to get put back on the road, but the officers first have to make sure the parts aren’t stolen, that the vehicle is street-worthy,” Ramik said.
“I started hearing from people I know, asking why our cops were in Detroit and Ann Arbor doing inspections,” Ramik said. “I did some snooping around, and found out these officers weren’t turning in the money for these inspections. At $100 apiece, there are thousands of these that have not been turned in, going back two and three years.”
Taylor police Chief John Blair said his department is cooperating with the investigation by the Secretary of State’s Regulatory Monitoring Division, which has asked for documents so it can conduct an audit.
“The department is looking through documents and trying to find out what’s going on,” Blair said. “We’re going to be transparent about this, but it’s still very early in the process. I can confirm the state is auditing us, but we get audited for different things. There’s a lot to look at, and a lot of work still needs to be done.”
Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars on April 5 sent a letter to Ramik and other city officials acknowledging the audit, and the officers’ suspension.
“After reviewing some of the files and documents, concerns were raised that some questionable actions may have occurred,” Sollars wrote. “Therefore, while this investigation is ongoing, the two officers have been placed on administrative leave until further notice.”