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Thetford Township police chief arrested for alleged embezzlement from military surplus program

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Thetford Township

The Genesee County Sheriff's department has arrested Robert Kenny, Thetford Township's police chief, for allegedly embezzling from the U.S. military surplus program, and obstructing the investigation.

Thetford Township is a small agricultural community of about 7,000 people north of Flint.  In 2012, Kenny acquired more than a million dollars' worth of military surplus, ranging from a bouncy house to a 7-ton forktruck.

But the surplus immediately started to go missing, and Kenny refused to disclose to the township supervisor, Gary Stevens, and a township trustee, Stan Piechnik, what he'd done with it all.

The two men tipped off the Genesee County Sheriff's office, which raided the township police department in April.

The surplus program does allow law enforcement agencies to later sell items they acquire - but they have to keep tabs on it all, and the revenue from sales must go into the local department's budget - not the pockets of individual officers.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell will release details on the allegations Thursday morning.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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