[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 March 03, 2015 18:41 GMT

FINANCIAL MARKETS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have given up much of yesterday's gains, as the Nasdaq composite retreats back below 5,000.

The Nasdaq closed above that milestone yesterday for the first time since the dot-com era 15 years ago. John Manley at Wells Fargo Fund Management says it's natural to see "a little flutter" after such a milestone, adding that it could continue "for a few days."

In the S&P 500, eight of the 10 industry sectors are down, though energy shares are up with the price of oil edging above $50 a barrel.

With nearly all companies in the S&P 500 having reported their latest quarterly results, S&P Capital IQ says earnings per share look to have risen a healthy 7.7 percent. But financial analysts expect earnings to drop for the next two quarters.

AUTO SALES

DETROIT (AP) -- Freezing temperatures and drifts of snow likely took a small bite out of U.S. auto sales last month, but most automakers are still reporting gains thanks to the strong economy.

Toyota led major automakers with a 13.3 percent gain over last February. Others came in below analysts' predictions. Chrysler, General Motors, Honda and Nissan all saw gains of 6 percent or less.

Ford's U.S. sales were down 1.9 percent, as dealers lacked the inventory to meet demand for the new F-150 pickup truck.

Volkswagen's sales fell 5.2 percent.

Falling unemployment, low interest rates and new versions of big sellers like the Jeep Cherokee -- which saw sales jump 19 percent in February -- drove buyers to dealerships in many cities.

But bad weather in the mid-South and on the East Coast hurt sales. One Volkswagen dealer in Massachusetts says it had almost no customers for a two-week period at the start of the month.

BEST BUY-DIVIDEND

UNDATED (AP) -- Best Buy shares are higher today after the company announced it is hiking its regular quarterly dividend by 21 percent. The nation's largest consumer electronics chain also will give stockholders a one-time payment from proceeds of legal settlements.

The Minneapolis chain says it will raise its cash dividend to 23 cents per share from 19 cents, and it will pay shareholders a dividend of 51 cents per share culled from the proceeds of some legal settlements over the price of liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, sold in the United States.

LCD technology is used in consumer electronics like flat-panel TVs, computers, and phones.

Best Buy Co. Inc. will pay the special cash dividend and the regular quarterly payout on April 14 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 24.

EXECUTIVES-ECONOMY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top business executives are pressing Congress to give President Barack Obama greater authority to negotiate international trade deals. In a report by the lobbying group Business Roundtable, the CEOs say their expectations for the economy have improved but that business needs more confidence to increase hiring.

The group's survey of 120 executives found that more than half of the CEOs said trade would allow them to hire more U.S. workers.

Forging a 12-nation trade deal with Pacific Rim countries is one of Obama's top priorities this year. Most Republicans support broadening trade. But a majority of Democrats say such agreements put the United States at a disadvantage.

Obama wants power to negotiate deals that Congress can only approve or reject, but not amend.

PFIZER-PNEUMONIA VACCINE

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pfizer's blockbuster vaccine against pneumonia and other bacterial infections has won another approval, for use in European Union residents aged 18 and older.

Prevnar 13, called Prevenar 13 in some countries, is the best-selling vaccine ever.

It protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, the most common bacterial cause of pneumonia and a top cause of death and hospitalization worldwide. It also causes children's ear infections, bloodstream infections and other illnesses.

New York-based Pfizer says more than 750 million doses have been distributed worldwide. Last year, Prevnar's global sales reached $4.5 billion, making it the No. 2 product for the company, which also makes Lipitor and Viagra.

Prevnar 13 is approved in more than 120 countries. In the U.S., it's approved for children from six weeks through 17 years old and adults over 49.

TESTOSTERONE DRUGS-FDA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is warning about the overuse of testosterone-boosting drugs taken by millions of U.S. men, saying the popular treatments have never been proven safe or effective for treating common signs of aging like low libido and fatigue.

The agency says drugmakers must clarify that their drugs are only approved to treat low testosterone levels caused by disease or injury, not general aging. Additionally, the FDA warned Tuesday that the drugs can increase the risk of heart attack and said drugmakers must add that information to their warning labels.

The federal rebuke comes after years of industry marketing for new pills, patches, gels and injections that promise relief from low testosterone or "Low-T." The advertising blitz has pushed sales of testosterone drugs to over $2 billion.

SUPREME COURT-COLORADO INTERNET TAX

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A unanimous Supreme Court says federal courts have the authority to rule in a dispute over Colorado's Internet tax law.

The ruling Tuesday is a win for business groups that want to challenge the state's so-called "Amazon tax" that requires extensive reporting by retailers that don't collect the state's 2.9 percent sales tax from Colorado customers.

Online retailers challenged the law, claiming it violates protections for companies doing business in other states. A federal court agreed that the law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

But a federal appeals court ruled that tax cases can only be filed in state court.

The high court reversed, finding that retailers were not challenging the actual collection of taxes, only a law giving state officials information about people who owe taxes.

EUROPE-TAX FRAUD RING

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- European Union officials say they have broken up a cross-border gang responsible for cheating EU member countries of 150 million euros ($168 million) in tax revenue.

Europol and Eurojust, the EU agencies for law enforcement and criminal prosecution, said nine people were arrested Tuesday in a fast-moving operation that kicked off early in the morning.

Those arrested are suspected of participating in organized fraud that deprived Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic of major sums of value-added tax payments.

Europol's head of organized crime operations, Michael Rauschenbach, said his agency has had a fully dedicated team in place for six years to fight such tax fraud.

He said the Tuesday crackdown sends a message that the EU is determined to pursue and catch people engaged in such crimes.

advertisement