ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A young Washington County man has pleaded guilty allegedly admitting he stole property tax funds while working as the deputy treasurer for Augusta Township.
Brendan Humeniak, 21, was charged with three counts of embezzlement by a public official.READ MORE: Ribs RnB Music Festival Kicks Off This Weekend In Downtown Detroit
According to Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuett’s office, an investigation into the township’s record keeping began after local residents received delinquency notices on property taxes they had already paid.
Humeniak was charged after the investigation showed that he stole cash deposits intended for those property taxes and instead used the funds to pay his personal bills.
On Monday, Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge David S. Swartz sentenced Humeniak to 18 months probation. He was ordered to pay over $8,900 in restitution and also given a 30 day jail sentence that is suspended until the end of his probation.READ MORE: Judge Says Michigan Gov. Whitmer Won't Have To Testify In Abortion Lawsuit
The jail sentence will be waived if he pays his restitution along with $1,400 in court costs, completes 100 hours of community service and a “Thinking Matters” program. He must also agree not to hold any job in accounting or a related field.
“Public Servants must be held to a high standard,” said Schuette. “Today’s sentencing provides a small step forward in repairing the trust lost by residents who were victimized by this crime.”
Because he was under 21 when he committed the crimes, the judge sentenced Humeniak under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. This means, if he does not violate his probation, he could eventually clear his criminal record.MORE NEWS: MDHHS Lifts No-Contact Recommendation In Huron River Chemical Spill
In 2012, the Milan News-Leader reported some in the township were upset when the newly-elected treasurer appointed her 19-year-old grandson deputy treasurer when he had no experience or education in bookkeeping or finance.