JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — One day after shocking allegations were made against Sheriff Steve Rand, he’s finding himself in more hot water.
Michigan State Police tells 6 News the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is under investigation for what they call a previous report of criminal wrongdoing.
A MSP spokesperson says this criminal investigation has nothing to do with the lawsuit filed Monday by Tommy Schuette, but declined saying what they’re looking into.
Schuette, who is a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office, says he has a hearing disability that was acquired on the job by being around explosions during SWAT training.
In the lawsuit, he claims Sheriff Rand taunted him about his condition and would threaten to fire him because of it.
The suit also claims the sheriff is known to make inappropriate comments about minorities, gays, disabled people, and women.
Jim Fett, who’s representing Schuette in the lawsuit, has released nearly 20 audio clips to 6 News.
Fett says the clips, which were recorded by Schuette, contain the voice of Sheriff Rand making sexist, homophobic, and racist remarks.
In one recording, Rand is accused of saying he wanted to make a pornographic film with a female county employee and murder her on camera.
Fett says a different recording has the sheriff calling African-Americans “monkeys.”
The attorney says the recordings will help back up their claims when the lawsuit goes to court.
Rand sent a statement to 6 News.
“As much as I would like to say a few things, it would be completely inappropriate to comment on pending litigation.
Legal counsel has not had a chance to review the allegations nor have we been served formally,” the statement from Rand said.
Undersheriff Chris Kuhl also released a statement Wednesday, saying he can’t comment on the lawsuit but the sheriff’s office will continue to serve the community without regard to race, ethnicity, sexual preference or identity.
Rand was elected to the sheriff’s office so he can’t be fired by the county.
Only a recall election or intervention from the governor can remove him from office.