Jackson sheriff accused of using jail funds to pay for new SUV


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Jackson County Sheriff Steve Rand is at the center of a growing controversy.


He was sued for discrimination earlier this year and audio recordings of him using derogatory language were made public.


But we’re now learning that’s not the only trouble Rand faces.


The Michigan Attorney General is currently reviewing allegations that the sheriff took money from jail funds to pay for his new SUV.


A report from Michigan State Police obtained by our media partners at MLive details a criminal investigation at the sheriff’s office.


It says Lt. Tommy Schuette, the employee who’s suing Rand for discrimination, made a complaint to state police in January.


Schuette claimed the sheriff’s office diverted money from county jail commissary funds to pay for a new SUV for Sheriff Rand.


Records from last May show $32,000 from the office’s general fund was spent on a new Ford Explorer for Rand to use as a personal work vehicle.


The report says a state police detective asked Undersheriff Chris Kuhl if money for the vehicle was taken from the jail and put into the general fund to purchase the vehicle.   


But Kuhl’s response and final conclusions from investigators are redacted from the report.  


6 News reached out to Sheriff Rand for comment on this latest round of accusations. 


He denies them and says funds from the county jail were never used to buy him a new vehicle.


Rand sent a statement explaining his position.


“This is only one issue in a series of allegations that is completely false if not mischaracterized. I anticipate in the coming weeks additional information will come out that will help clear up some of the allegations against me. In the meantime, I would ask for patience as the legal process proceeds,” he said in the statement.  


Last month state police confirmed its investigation into the sheriff’s office was complete and findings were presented to the Michigan Attorney General.


Right now there’s no indication of when the Attorney General’s office will complete a review of the accusations.

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