Ogemaw County Sheriff wants taxpayers to foot the bill for the law firm he hired

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OGEMAW COUNTY, Michigan (WJRT) – The latest news on the growing tension between the Ogemaw County Sheriff and the County Council of Commissioners.

The sheriff is asking county taxpayers to pay a legal bill after hiring his own law firm.

The county has its own legal advisor, but Sheriff Brian Gilbert disagreed with an internal investigation by the county prosecutor following an article on ABC 12 News. A federal lawsuit has also been filed against the county. The sheriff has hired his own law firm and expects taxpayers to foot the bill.

The county is being sued, partly for allegations against some MPs in our history and a federal lawsuit, the board cut funding for a vacant sergeant position, and now there’s another issue that’s causing trouble. . Gilbert wants the county council to approve the payment of a $ 3,700 bill from a law firm he hired, despite a county council policy that states that all outside legal work must be approved by the advice in advance.

“The sheriff explained that he wanted to consult other lawyers simply because he did not really agree with the outcome of the investigation,” said county administrator Tim Dolehanty.

Gilbert was not satisfied with an investigation by Ogemaw County attorney Greg Meihn, who recommended that his own report on alleged past wrongdoing in the sheriff’s department be turned over to the attorney general’s office and the FBI.

Gilbert hired the law firm Abbott Nicholson, which sent him the bill, but apparently wanted to keep the legal work he did a secret, as it is largely redacted.

“We have dates, we know when the consultations were held, we know roughly the time spent, but we have no idea what these conversations were about,” says Dolehanty.

It is not clear how this legal bill will be paid.

We contacted the sheriff several times but had no response.

We also called and left a message at law firm Abbott Nicholson, but again the message was not returned.

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