Auto inspection fee probe causes 2 Taylor cops placed on leave

Image 1 of 6

The Taylor Police Department placed two officers on administrative leave.

They had been in charge of inspecting salvaged vehicles for a fee, but where all that money went is a mystery.

"You don't know how hard it was for me to do this, being a police officer myself," said Taylor City Councilman Herman "Butch" Ramik. "I do know some of these people, and it bothers me but it is the right thing to do. I took an oath."
Ramik says he was tipped off to something he couldn't ignore -  claims that a couple Taylor police officers were getting paid to perform a duty but not turning in the money. At least not as far as he can tell. 
"Unless that money is found somewhere in our books," Ramik said. "It never came back."
It starts in a salvage yard where some of the cars there are scrapped for parts. Others are capable of having a new life out on the road. 
In Michigan, there are a handful of police officers certified as salvage inspectors who make that call.
"The officer comes back, turns in his paperwork, with the money to the city," Ramik said.
At least that's the way it’s supposed to work. 
"At this time there is no money to be found and I checked thoroughly on it," Ramik said.
At least two of these state certified inspectors work for the Taylor Police Department.  According to Councilman Ramik, the officers were certified to do the inspections at salvage yards around metro Detroit to the tune of $100 per inspection. 

But he says none of that money was ever reported to the city as it should have been. And he says this is no small chunk of change, Ramik estimates there could have been thousands of inspections that went unreported. At $100 per inspection, that adds up. 
"I found so much going on that I decided to turn it over to the Secretary of State, their investigative unit which they are looking into," he said.
And that is where this stands now. While the state looks into the books the two officers, both certified inspectors, have been place on paid leave. standard procedure, according to the mayor. 

The question on Ramik's mind is if his suspicions are true - how long has it been going on?

"The city may get a black eye - the black eye heals," Ramik said. "It takes a long time for that tarnish to get off that badge."
The state has just started the investigation and won't provide an update until it is complete.