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I-Team: Corruption allegations lingering for months prove unfounded

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: Corruption allegations lingering for months prove unfounded story image
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team is digging deeper into corruption allegations within the Battle Creek Police Department, that all started with a letter written by two city commissioners on behalf of a Battle Creek Police officer.

The Newschannel 3 I-Team was given dozens of emails that were written by a whistle-blower, who is an active officer.

He sent concerns to police brass and city leaders, and the allegations in it have a city commissioner wondering why no one paid any attention to it.

But the catch is, Newshcannel 3 was told that attention was paid, and now the police chief may take that commissioner to court.

The emails lay out more than three years of allegations, made by a Battle Creek Police Officer that we have been asked not to name.

The officer claims he has received threats and retaliation after he says he reported an act of misconduct by a fellow officer.

He wrote to Police Chief Jackie Hampton in 2010:

"Sir, as you may not be aware of, I have had threats made on my safety in the forms of physical violence."

He goes on to detail the discovery of "a large knife" in his department mailbox, and that he was "told by my supervisors to move on and disregard them."

Chief Hampton responded, saying that he was "very disturbed by the behavior and actions you're being subjected to," and that they "will not be tolerated or allowed."

The chain of emails show that it went to the Department of Internal Affairs Inspector, and the City Manager, where the officer writes "I have had officers completely fail to back me up on two man calls, and yet I still continue to be the 'bad guy' within the administration."

The Police Chief and City Manager tell Newschannel 3 that the allegations have been investigated twice.

The Chief says a Lieutenant and Department of Internal Affairs Inspector both came up with "unfounded" results, because they couldn't determine who put it there.

The Chief added that on November 1st, 2010, three members of the department sat down with the officer and told him those results.

Meanwhile, City Commissioner Jeff Domenico stands by the allegations.

"What people need to understand is that this is only one slice of the pie; there's documentation of nepotism, discrimination, hostile work environment, falsification of legal documentations."

Chief Hampton sent Newschannel 3 a statement that stated he will be "looking at legal options to pursue against Commissioner Domenico for alleging we're corrupt."

He also says, "I deserve an apology from Commissioner Domenico, and he also needs to apologize to the entire department and city."

County Prosecutor David Gilbert told Newschannel 3 he also sat down with Commissioner Domenico and the officer about the allegations just last week.

"One person talks about corruption, but corruption involves breaking the law; in this case, I haven't seen anything with corruption," said Gilbert.

He also looked through those aforementioned emails, and he says to date, nothing he has seen is criminal.

Prosecutor Gilbert did add, however, that if there are criminal allegations, he wants to hear about it, but again, there is no corruption here.

There have been two investigations into the allegations of the officer.

Newschannel 3 has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to get the full report.
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