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Thetford Township under investigation for use of surplus military gear

A Thetford Township trustee is accusing the police department of mishandling surplus military gear. (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

THETFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A Thetford Township trustee is accusing the police department of mishandling surplus military gear.

Trustee Stan Piechnik alleges the department has received $1 million worth of military gear, and it’s not accounted for.

Now the Genesee County Sheriff's Department is investigating.

Piechnik says he's been struggling to get them from the police chief, but Chief Robert Kenny says that's not the case.

Kenny says the military surplus program has been happening for the past 8 years and there is no wrong doing, simply misunderstandings.

Thetford Township's Police Department is one of thousands of agencies that receives extra military equipment that is no longer being used.

The department has acquired this equipment over the last decade. It ranges from office supplies to clothes to vehicles and even small firearms.

Chief Kenny says because the township is so small, they've stored some equipment and gotten rid of things that were broken or they had no use for.

Trustee Piechnik says the Township board has no idea where the equipment is.

"He has that equipment, no one seems to know where it's at, no one knows what he's doing with it," says Piechnik

"At one point one of the previous boards had told me that the equipment being out by the red barn and out around the township property they wanted it cleaned up, they wanted it stored some place so we didn't look like a junk yard so I contacted some of the residents here and some of the people that I know that work on diesel equipment or have mechanical abilities and asked if we could store the property there and if they could fix it and if not then we'd dispose of it," says Kenny.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell did confirm that this is an ongoing investigation.

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