[an error occurred while processing this directive]

I-Team: Looking into Centreville allegations

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: Looking into Centreville allegations story image
CENTREVILLE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - An I-Team investigation has discovered public employees ripping off taxpayers--and elected leaders say they aren't talking without their attorneys.

The Village Council in Centreville is facing cover-up allegations for not filing a police report after the Public Works Director was caught stealing gasoline in December.

It's not the first blemish on his record, either.

A police report shows Randy Baker was charged with, and confessed to, burglary in Colon, where he was the Public Works Director.

Our investigation brought us to Centreville to look into allegations that the Department of Public Works Director was stealing village gasoline from pumps that are now locked, and--we're told--no longer used.

We wound up finding a lot more than that, however.

When we called the Village President to ask about the allegations of theft against Baker, we were surprised to learn he already knew about it.

"Baker made a one time lapse in judgement, he confessed to it, and he was suspended without pay for two days," he told Newschannel 3.

Meanwhile, Alex Milliman, now an animal control worker and volunteer firefighter was the first person to blow the whistle on Baker.

He says the discovery wound up costing him his job.

Afterwards, he wrote a letter to the Village Council, was invited to a closed session, and told them what he saw.

"The council defended him," Milliman said. "They didn't want to do anything about it."

We went to ask Baker about this at his Colon home, but no one answered the door.

Milliman did say that his closed session with the Village Council also covered why Baker might be getting special treatment despite his past and present.

There were apparently allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Baker and Centreville Village Clerk and Treasurer Terrie Tully.

We spoke to Tully about that, but she told us that she would not discuss personal matters.

We have requested numerous public documents from the Village of Centreville, including Baker's discipline record and records of village gas use over the last year.

We've been told most of our requests should be available by Tuesday.

There will, however, be a public meeting Monday night to discuss many of the issues.

We will be there, and we'll let you know what happens.
comments powered by Disqus
advertisement

What do you want to see?

If you have a story idea for the I-Team, you can contact us using the form below or by calling 269-388-4612.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.

Business News

Last Update on July 28, 2014 07:39 GMT

WORLD MARKETS

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stock markets are mostly higher today, shrugging off jitters about stiffer Western sanctions against Russia, after China reported strong corporate profits.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surged 2.4 percent to 2,178.50. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.4 percent to 15,512.95 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1 percent at 24,466.96. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8 percent to 2,050.19. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 bucked the regional trend and was flat at 5,583.90.

Profits at China's industrial enterprises soared 17.9 percent in June over a year earlier, the government reported. For the first half of the year, profits were up 11.4 percent, a new high for that period.

The price of oil fell a little, with benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery down 33 cents at $101.76 a barrel.

ECONOMY-THE-WEEK-AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A busy week of economic data and corporate earnings reports will be capped off Friday with the government's monthly jobs report.

But the first numbers come this morning when the National Association of Realtors releases its pending home sales index for June. Contracts to buy US homes were up 6.1 percent in May, the sharpest month-over-month gain in more than four years. However, the index remained below its level of a year ago.

On Tuesday, Standard & Poor's releases the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for May, while the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index, and Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting to set interest rates. That, of course, means attention will be focused on the Fed on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning, the Commerce Department releases its estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product.

Thursday, the Labor Department releases the second-quarter employment cost index and its weekly report on weekly jobless claims, while Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.

The Labor Department releases employment data for July on Friday, while the Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for June and construction spending. Also Friday, the Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for July.

On the corporate earnings front, 17 major U.S. companies release quarterly financial results this week. Monday is quiet, but eight companies report on Tuesday, including Aetna, Merck, Pfizer, Reynolds American and UPS before the market opens.

GAS PRICES

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) -- A national survey finds the average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline has plummeted 9 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.58.

That's the largest drop this year.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday the decrease came despite a rise in crude-oil prices.

Lundberg says U.S. refiners, enjoying plentiful supplies, aggressively cut wholesale prices to chase sales.

Midgrade averages were $3.78, and premium averages were $3.93.

The U.S. average retail diesel price is down 4 cents per gallon, to $3.90.

The lowest average price Lundberg found in the lower 48 states was $3.23 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The highest was $4.03 in San Francisco.

The lowest average price in California was $3.86 in Sacramento.

NISSAN-RECALL

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nissan is recalling more than 226,000 additional vehicles over a defective air bag that has affected much of the global auto industry.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that Nissan North America Inc. is recalling certain lines of its Infiniti, Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra cars for the model years 2002 to 2004.

It had previously announced a recall of more than 438,000 vehicles.

The move is prompted by faulty air bags that have been blamed for the recall of millions of cars in recent years, including those made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

The air bags systems were made by Tokyo-based Takata Corp. The air bag inflators can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the air bags are deployed. That can potentially cause serious injuries.

FAST FOOD WORKERS-CONVENTION

VILLA PARK, Ill. (AP) -- Fast food workers from across the country have voted in suburban Chicago to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation by including civil disobedience.

More than 1,300 workers gathered Saturday in Villa Park, Illinois. They voted to add sit-down strikes and restaurant occupations to their campaign to win $15-an-hour wages and a union.

Industry officials say a $15-an-hour wage would hurt job creation, and that the solution is more education and job training.

Cindy Enriquez said at the convention that the $8.25 she makes an hour at a McDonalds in Phoenix makes her dream of going to college impossible.

The workers' effort is supported by the Service Employees International Union.

Their actions so far have included one-day strikes and a protest outside this year's McDonald's Corp. shareholder meeting.

ARGENTINA-DEBT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Argentina's negotiations with creditors to resolve a dispute over $1.5 billion in unpaid debts remained deadlocked.

Argentina will default for the second time in 13 years if it's unable to reach a deal with the U.S. hedge funds before July 30.

The debt mediator in the dispute met with Argentine officials Friday. But Daniel Pollack says there has been no progress.

Pollack also said the Argentine mission is returning to Buenos Aires Friday night, but he expects more talks before the deadline.

Following a U.S. judge's order, Argentina can't pay investors who accepted lower-valued bonds after its record $100 billion default in 2001 unless it also pays off bondholders who didn't participate in previous bond swaps.

The holdouts accuse Argentina of refusing to negotiate to avert the default.

OCEAN BLASTING

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The federal government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which spawned a court battle between environmentalists and researchers in New Jersey this summer.

The U.S. Geological Survey plans this summer and next to map the outer limits of the continental shelf, and also study underwater landslides that would help predict where and when tsunamis might occur.

But environmentalists say it could cause the same type of damage to marine life they fought unsuccessfully to prevent this month off the coast of New Jersey.

Cindy Zipf of Clean Ocean Action says the new plan would blast the ocean at floor 236 to 265 decibels every 20 to 24 seconds for 17 days.

advertisement