Report Shows Road Commission Corruption

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

An investigation into misuse of taxpayer money finds Jackson County Road Commissioner Bob Zenz took advantage of his position.

The report shows he spent tax dollars to make improvements to his barn and roads at and near his Grass Lake home.

The 11-page report concludes Zenz spent more than 17,000 tax dollars to lower his driveway 18 inches.

It also states he had three driveways paved, using more than two hundred square yards of concrete.

The findings have been passed along to Jackson County Commissioners and County Prosecutor, Henry Zavislak.

"We'll do a care review of the report and at that time make a determination as to whether we're satisfied with the information it contained," Zavislak said.

At that time, he could file criminal charges but he'll probably consider another option.

"In all likelihood, I would request a special prosecutor be appointed."

We tried to contact county commissioners and the county administrator. They forwarded questions to their attorney, Peter Cohl of Lansing.

Cohl told us he hasn't yet reviewed the report.

Neither has Road Commission Chairman Karl Schmidt.

We asked Schmidt about a quote attributed to him in the report where he describes Zenz by saying, "Bob does what he wants to do."

Schmidt denied saying that... and clarified his remarks in this statement... quote, "Ethics are different for each individual. What's ethical for me may not be for someone else."

Sheriff Dan Heyns says the report is accurate.

"We don't publish it and hand it out for public information if we're not sure of the facts," he said. "I stand by the report."

The County Board of Commissioners won't take action until getting a recommendation from its attorney... something that could take several weeks.

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