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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.
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Business News

Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT

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The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to a 0.2 percent rise in July, the weakest showing in seven months.

The fall in spending came primarily from a decline in auto sales, which took a breather in July after posting big gains in recent months, although spending in other areas was also weak.

Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.

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The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. Still, it has barely risen in the past year.

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