Fraser's ex IT Director accused of embezzling $100K with city credit card

Fraser's former IT director is facing embezzlement charges after authorities said she used the city's credit card to purchase personal items for years - including jewelry and purses - that amounted to more than $100,000.

Michele Kwiatkowski worked for the city of Fraser for years and, between 2016 and 2020, she had access to the city's American Express card. She was supposed to be keeping tabs on that card and how money was spent. But after she left the city, an audit was done where the alleged embezzlement was discovered.

In April, Kwiatkowski was charged with embezzlement of more than $100,000. Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido said she used that money to buy jewelry, purses, and other items.

"There was an indication from one of the former mayor's that there might be a problem here," Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido said.

That former mayor, Joe Nichols, who had a sexual harassment lawsuit against him after he went to the cops complaining about her. Nichols said the timing of everything seems a bit ironic.

"When I discover the theft going on and I made the accusation, I received a letter about hostile work environment 48 hours later. Seems funny that they go together like that," Nichols said.

Kwiatkowski could get 20 years in prison if convicted of the embezzlement charge.

"Well, right now we received a lot of documents on the prosecutor's office and we are doing our own accounting and our own investigation," her attorney, Eli Mouwad said.

All parties will be back in court on June 14.