ROMULUS (WWJ) – A raid at the home of Romulus Mayor Alan Lambert stretched overnight and into the morning Tuesday.
Several marked and unmarked police cars rolled up to Lambert’s home in the 36000 block of Mario Ann Court, near Goddard and Grant Streets, around 5 p.m. Monday. Investigators remained at the home the next morning.
While it wasn’t immediately clear what detectives were looking for, Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said the raid is connected to an investigation that began years ago.
“This is just an ongoing investigation into public corruption in the city of Romulus,” Shaw said. “We’ve been looking at different parts of the investigation, probably since 2010, and this is just a continuing portion of it.”
Shaw said Lambert, who was present during the raid, is not under arrest at this time.
“The mayor was home when state police detectives first arrived. He was very cooperative. We spoke with him at length and then he was released. He’s not in our custody right now,” Shaw said.
A statement issued by state police said numerous items were seized from the home and are currently being processed.
Shaw said the raid at Lambert’s home doesn’t have anything to do with the wide-ranging police corruption probe that began in Romulus in 2008.
“This particular portion of the investigation doesn’t have anything to do with the police department or the former police chief. This is more of an on-shoot of that investigation, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the other one that is currently in the court system,” he said.
In Sept. 2011, police raided the headquarters of the Romulus Police Department. An investigation into public corruption resulted in charges against five police detectives — Richard Balzer, Donald Hopkins, Richard Landry, Jeremy Channells and Larry Droege — as well as the former police chief Michael St. Andre and his wife, Sandra Vlaz-St. Andre.
The misconduct, which allegedly took place from Jan. 2006 through Sept. 2011 while the six men were members of the department’s special investigations unit, involved more than $100,000 in drug forfeiture funds to pay for prostitutes, marijuana and alcohol. Lambert was the mayor at the time.
In Sept. 2012, the group was bound over for trial in Wayne County Circuit Court. St. Andre and the five detectives face a variety of charges, from embezzlement and conducting a criminal enterprise to misconduct in office. Vlaz-St. Andre is facing felony charges in the case after allegedly using some of the forfeiture funds to open a tanning salon.