COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - It is dangerous to smoke marijuana and drive.
So when members of an Oakland County community saw a township worker who appeared to be getting high and then getting behind the wheel, they called Problem Solver Rob Wolchek who has a busted on the job investigation.
This is Tim Emery, he works for Commerce Township. Tim drives around in official Commerce Township vehicles and operates front loaders and travels the streets in dump trucks. Tim trims the township parks with Commerce Township riding mowers.
But the problem is when Tim's not mowing the grass it appears Tim's smoking the grass.
And if you're worried about Tim getting caught by the boss .... don't. ... because Tim is the boss.
That's right, Tim Emery is the supervisor of maintenance for Commerce Township. This is him bossing around a crew of workers while getting paid with taxpayer bucks. It can be tough, so Tim takes a puff.
It's 9:20 on a Wednesday morning but it's 4:20 as far as Tim Emery is concerned. While you're drinking your morning coffee, Tim's getting his morning started with his own special blend.
Wolchek received tips that Tim was smoking something called wax while working - and then driving Commerce Township vehicles.
Sure enough, here's Tim a few minutes after hitting his pipe, hitting the road.
So what is this wax? It's a super potent form of marijuana. According to Complex, a pop culture magazine, this marijuana concentrate is more powerful. Far more powerful. because it allegedly leads to a quicker, stronger high.
Wax is said to be the strongest form of marijuana on the market.
An expert told Charlie LeDuff in a previous report of his, that: "You take some of the wax out of there with this dabbing tool. Then you got to get a blowtorch to heat up the pin, the little glass pin and you heat that up with the torch there until it's blazing hot.
"You put your wax there right on the top there, put down then hit it. Puff out a little thing of smoke and it's like the purest form you can get."
And that's what it looks like Tim is doing. There's the blowtorch. Once the bowl is heated up, out comes the dabber. That sure looks like a dabber to Rob. The dabber goes in the bowl and the smoker takes a hit.
Soon, he's out catching up with his crews. Remember, he's the boss. And when the boss isn't bossing sometimes he's at Bazonzoes, medical marijuana facility in Walled Lake, visiting the pot shop in the middle of the work day.
After watching Tim awhile, we got a good idea of his routine. Tim always parks his personal van out front at the Commerce Township yard. When he wants to smoke, he then moves his personal van from the front of the building to a spot less visible.
Here's a photo of what we observed inside Tim's van, in plain sight. It sure looks like a blowtorch and some kind of pipe to me.
Once out of sight, Tim does his thing. This is one long uncut shot. Here's Tim in his van smoking. After he hits that pipe - we'll speed the video up here but not edit it - he heads straight into a Commerce Township dump truck and heads down the road.
Medical marijuana may be legal in Michigan. but driving after taking a blast isn't, which is why the tipsters who contacted Wolchek were worried.
It's time for Tim to experience a major buzzkill.
Wolchek: "Hi Tim, I'm Rob Wolchek from FOX 2. So you're the supervisor of maintenance here in Commerce Township?"
Tim Emery: "Yes sir."
Wolchek: "What's that job all about?"
Tim Emery: "Well, basically it's about doing park maintenance and you know, taking care of the parks and everything."
Wolchek: "And driving these trucks around and stuff?"
Tim Emery: "yeah."
Wolchek: "Yeah? and lawn mowers?"
Tim Emery: "Yeah pretty much mowing. Question for you, what's this about, I don't want to be on camera right now."
Wolchek: "Well I want to ask you about. you've been smoking pot all the time while you’re working?"
Tim Emery: "No sir, I don't smoke pot on the job."
Wolchek: "Well, yeah you do, because I've seen you."
Tim Emery: "I don't think so," he said.
With that, Tim heads inside the shop. But a few minutes later Wolchek sees him in the garage.
Wolchek: "Hold on, hold on there man. Fill me in a little bit. This is your chance to talk to me."
Tim Emery: "This is private property sir."
Remember, this guy is the maintenance supervisor, supposed to set an example for his employees. I guess you could say right now he's the chairman of the board.
Wolchek: "You don't go to Bazonzoes during the day?"
Tim Emery: "No sir. "
Wolchek: "I've seen you out there."
Tim Emery: "Not on company time sir."
Wolchek: "Do you know what smoking wax is?"
Tim Emery: "No sir."
Wolchek: "You don't know what smoking wax is, well let me show you some pictures Tim."
Now, Tim didn't want to see the photos Wolchek had of him where maybe he might have been able to explain himself. Instead, he called the sheriff's department.
After being in the building for a while with a deputy, eventually Tim emerged and headed straight for a township vehicle.
Wolchek: "Do you think it's safe to drive these vehicles after smoking pot and wax all day."
Tim drives off and soon Township Supervisor Tom Zoner arrives and we fill him in. Zoner calls the sheriff's department and they seal off the building and even bring in a dog to search.
Tim never returned to work that day and ditched the township vehicle across town. Regardless, Supervisor Tom Zoner says Tim Emery is a good employee who has had his problems.
"If an employee is smoking pot and driving a township vehicle, certainly that is not encouraged, right," asked Wolchek.
Wolchek: "And if that employee was to hurt somebody, run over the kid on a lawnmower or hit somebody with a dump truck or a township vehicle and they found he had wax in his system or a high THC level, that would be a disaster wouldn't it?"
Zoner: "Big problem."
Wolchek invited Tom Zoner to come look at the video he had of Tim before this story aired. He said he would come and view it but never did.
We do know the deputies are investigating and we'll let you know what they found out as soon as they file their report.