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Police Chief Whistleblower

Argentine Township, MI: (Feb-28-08) Former Police Chief Terry VanKeuren brought a whistleblowers lawsuit against the Township Board and Officer Arch Ravert, claiming he was retaliated against and harassed after he conducted an investigation of Ravert. The suit stemmed from allegations that Ravert encouraged a female motorist to show her breasts to avoid a relative's arrest during a traffic stop. State police investigated the incident, and the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office concluded there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges, and no crime had been committed. VanKeuren, however, stated that he believed the sworn statements of the witnesses in the traffic stop and requested Ravert be fired. Records show that VanKeuren did not return to work after a two-week suspension for refusing to cooperate with an auditor in March 2007. The suit stated that at the time that the Township Board and its attorneys forced VanKeuren to leave by threatening to fire him, changing his job duties and humiliating him publicly for filing lawsuits against the township. Facing such pressure, VanKeuren quit his job.

As part of a settlement reached, township sources stated that VanKeuren will receive $650,000 under a settlement reached in the case that has rattled the small town since its onset. It was announced that the lawsuit settlement will be paid through the township's insurance company. The township will be responsible for paying VanKeuren's severance pay, which totals about $140,000. [FLINT JOURNAL: CHIEF HARASSMENT]


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Published on Feb-29-08

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