Auto theft

The Detroit News - - Metro -

ing with Woodard, should have im­me­di­ately brought con­cerns to the at­ten­tion of the board.

“I don’t need you telling me about my duty or in­tegrity,” McCabe snapped. “I have been a po­lice of­fi­cer for 41 years.

“I may be go­ing away but these is­sues are not go­ing away.”

McCabe also told the board it might be time for su­per­vi­sion of the auto theft author­ity to be trans­ferred from the state po­lice.

McCabe has su­per­vised an­ti­auto theft units for the Oak­land County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and par­tic­i­pated in statewide Help Elim­i­nate Auto Theft ef­forts. After Thurs­day’s board meet­ing, he re­it­er­ated his frus­tra­tion at not be­ing reap­pointed.

“It re­ally doesn’t make any sense — I have more ex­per­tise than any­one else on the board re­gard­ing auto theft pre­ven­tion,” he said. “I have heard it’s be­cause the gover­nor has a strict rule against his ap­pointees serv­ing more than two terms. I don’t think that is true and can’t help but feel this is a puni­tive ac­tion taken be­cause I sup­ported Scott Woodard and asked for an­swers to his ques­tions and more.”

The un­paid author­ity board post is one of dozens the gover­nor fills by ap­point­ment ev­ery year. A Sny­der spokesman said McCabe and a se­cond mem­ber were not reap­pointed be­cause of pol­icy.

“He (McCabe) had al­ready served two full terms and was not el­i­gi­ble for reap­point­ment,” said Kurt Weiss, a spokesman for Sny­der. “Mark Wagon­schultz no longer works in the auto in­sur­ance in­dus­try and there­fore was not el­i­gi­ble for reap­point­ment as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of auto in­sur­ers.

“The ser­vice that Mike and Mark pro­vided to the board over the years is very much ap­pre­ci­ated,” Weiss said.

Wagon­schultz was Thurs­day’s meet­ing.

ATPA by­laws and a gu­ber­na­to­rial guide­book for ap­point­ments do not re­flect any bar­ri­ers to mul­ti­ple-term ap­point­ments. McCabe said at Thurs­day’s meet­ing that at least 23 other peo­ple serv­ing on state boards were


at reap­pointed after serv­ing more than two terms.

Woodard, a 27-year po­lice vet­eran with 23 years as a trooper, dis­closed his con­cerns to McCabe and oth­ers more than a year ago that auto theft funds were be­ing di­verted to pay state po­lice salaries and buy com­puter equip­ment. He went on a med­i­cal leave after an “in­ves­ti­ga­tory sus­pen­sion with pay” start­ing July 3, ac­cord­ing to state po­lice spokes­woman Shanon Ban­ner.

State po­lice of­fi­cials have not elab­o­rated on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Woodard other than say­ing it con­cerns an “off-duty” ac­tiv­ity not in­volv­ing the auto theft author­ity.

The state au­di­tor general is re­view­ing the author­ity’s fi­nances fol­low­ing Woodard’s al­le­ga­tions of mis­use. The author­ity is funded by about $6 mil­lion an­nu­ally from $1 fees on ev­ery li­cense plate is­sued in Michi­gan.

The agency co­or­di­nates an­ti­auto theft ef­forts and dis­trib­utes grants to law en­force­ment agen­cies across Michi­gan.

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