Michigan National Guard investigates theft and nepotism at maintenance facility
Several people who worked on the base of Camp Grayling are off the job after an investigation into alleged wrongdoings at a Michigan National Guard maintenance facility.
The Maneuver and Training Equipment Site (MATES) sits on the base of Camp Grayling but is operated by the Michigan National Guard Headquarters in Lansing.
The investigation into several technicians who work at MATES started in January 2013 after another employee anonymously emailed the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) at Fort Knox, saying that there were some inappropriate things going on there. Some of the claims went back years.
After the CID was finished with their investigation, a report was sent to the Michigan National Guard in July 2013 suggesting that they also look into the situation.
An officer conducted an investigation and submitted a report in January 2014.
â??There was a series of findings about theft, nepotism, and some unbecoming conduct,â?? said Lt. Col. William Humes, the Michigan National Guard State Public Affairs Officer.
Lt. Col. Humes says the report indicated that several technicians at MATES had been using physical fitness training time to go home. The report also alleged that technicians had used tools and other equipment materials for personal use, and that vacant positions at the facility were only being filled by local employees within Camp Grayling.
The officerâ??s report recommended that action ranging from time off without pay, to position termination, be taken on seven individuals.
â??Weâ??re not going to sweep things under the rug and look the other wayâ?¦if we see problems weâ??ll take action,â?? said Humes.
According to Humes, it was recommended that four people be terminated from their positions. Of those, two retired and two are filing appeals.
Humes says that two more people were given two weeks off without pay, and no action was taken on a seventh employee.
â??Minus the two that are filing appeals, the actions for the other five are complete and are moving forward and we have learned from this with better systems with more scrutiny on all of the actions that take place out at MATES and then the nepotism issue has been fixed as well,â?? said Humes
The individuals involved include two lieutenant colonels, three master sergeants, and two staff sergeants.
The Michigan National Guard said the names of those involved are in a report that 7&4 News had to request through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Michigan National Guardâ??s report was forwarded back to the CID at Fort Knox. They determined earlier this summer that there wasnâ??t enough in the investigation to file criminal charges, but that wrong doing was discovered.