No charges for Muskegon County sheriff

Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler (Source: muskegonsheriff.com)
Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler (Source: muskegonsheriff.com)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler will not face charges after a state police investigation into embezzlement allegations, 24 Hour News 8 has learned.

In an e-mail obtained by 24 Hour News 8, a state police investigator wrote that the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office would not file criminal charges.

The state police post in Paw Paw investigated the allegations before turning them over to Eaton County Prosecutor Douglas Lloyd, who had been appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.

Roesler admitted to making at least a dozen withdrawals totaling $2,290 from the account of a charity golf outing, but said they were inadvertent, according to a police report. Police said he paid most, if not all, of the money back — after someone else brought it to his attention.

The withdrawals started in June 2008 and continued through 2011. Roesler told police he used the money to pay for his children’s college books or their gasoline, but said he thought the money was coming from his personal account.

A Thursday release from Lloyd said he can’t prove Roesler embezzled or misused funds from the golf outing account.

That charity account was a sub-account of Roesler’s personal account, and Lloyd says he can’t disprove Roesler’s claims that the withdrawals were mistakes.

Lloyd said only three of the withdrawals totaling under $400 would be eligible for charges due to the statute of limitations. And, he said, documents like withdrawal slips have been lost “because of the passage of time.”

“Consequently, based upon the information available, the evidence did not allow the People to disprove bank error or other mistake. Therefore, because the prosecution has the burden of proof, no criminal charges are warranted,” Lloyd’s decision reads in park.

Roesler has since removed himself from having any access to the golf outing account, Lloyd said.

State police investigated the allegations based on a complaint from Roesler’s former political opponent, John Jurkas.

On Thursday, Jurkas said he was shocked at the lack of charges.

“It is a sad day in the State of Michigan and Muskegon County, when an elected sheriff takes money that doesn’t belong to him and is not held accountable,” he said in an email statement. “It is a slap in the face to every legitimate charity that follows the rules and the laws, for this injustice to take place.”

blog comments powered by Disqus