Friday, December 11, 2009

Three Arrests in Public Guardian's Office

The Michigan State Police’s investigation into the Arenac County Public Guardian Office, which began in June, has led to three arrests.

A statement from the Ogemaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued Dec. 9 said over $300,000 worth of misappropriated funds from approximately 50 clients, during the years 1999 to 2009, was uncovered by the MSP investigation.

According to Detective Sergeant David Rivard, of the West Branch State Police Post, public guardian Robert Romps was arrested by the Michigan State Police on Dec. 8, along with Sherilyn Jones, the public guardian Romps replaced who was fired in August while her office was under investigation for criminal activity by the Michigan State Police and being audited by the Michigan Treasury Department. Jones’ mother, Sally Lebeau, was also arrested.

Charges against Jones include one count of criminal enterprise; two counts of embezzlement by a public official; one count of embezzlement from vulnerable adults; and one count of conspiring to embezzle over $200 but less than $1,000. If convicted, the penalty could be a maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000.

Romps faces one count of embezzlement by a public official over $50, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or $5,000.

Lebeau was charged with conspiring to embezzle over $200 but less than $1,000. She could face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,000 or three times the amount embezzled (greater amount), if convicted.

Lebeau is scheduled to appear in the 81st District Court on Dec. 16. She was given a personal recognizance bond in the amount $7,5000. Jones’ bond was set at $25,000 cash or 10 percent surety. She’s scheduled for a status conference on Dec. 14 and preliminary examination on Dec. 21. Romps, who was given a personal recognizance bond in the amount of $7,500, is scheduled to appear in court on the same dates and times as Jones. District Court Judge Allen Yenior has been assigned all three cases.

Romps fired Dec. 8, county moving away from guardian position.

Arenac County Public Guardian Robert Romps started working as the county’s guardian on Sept. 3 and was terminated the evening of Dec. 8 during a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

After going into a closed session to discuss the personnel matter, the board opened the meeting once again to announce the firing of Romps.

Full Article and Source:
Embezzlement Charges Filed Against County Public Guardians

See Also:
County Cuts Ties With Public Guardian


StandUp said...

This is an example of how infested the Public Guardian's office can be and how easy it is for them to steal.

Thelma said...

Are they bonded, I wonder.

Barbara said...

Thanks for following this story, NASGA.

Anonymous said...

Seems like there's a lot of bad news coming out of Michigan lately.

Ben said...

This was a long time coming.

I wonder how many people complained and for how long before action was finally taken.