Detroit police commander under investigation for helping get cop’s ex-wife arrested for non-existent crime | Metro Detroit News | Detroit

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  • Steve Neavling
  • Detroit police car.

A Detroit police precinct commander is under fire for allegedly helping get charges filed against a subordinate officer’s ex-wife for a crime that did not exist.

The commander and the officer are under an internal investigation, and the commander has been demoted to the rank of captain, The Detroit News first reported.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, which filed the charges and later dismissed them, is also investigating.

The names of the cops have not been released because no charges have been filed yet.

The chain of events began in November 2019, when an officer learned that his ex-wife, following their divorce, withdrew money from their joint account at a Lincoln Park bank, which is not a crime and was not included in their divorce settlement.

The officer originally reported the withdrawal to police in Westland, where he lived, but they would not take up the case. At that point, the officer asked his commander, who is a longtime friend, for help getting his ex-wife arrested on charges, even though the withdrawal did not occur in Detroit.

The commander allegedly wrote up an investigative report, which sought charges of larceny and concealing stolen property against the woman, and passed it on to a Wayne County Sheriff’s Office deputy whose jurisdiction included Lincoln Park. The deputy followed through and forwarded a warrant request to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Brownstown police arrested the woman in January 2021, but the charges were dismissed three months later after prosecutors asked to drop the case.

“It appeared people were calling in favors and there were some underhanded things going on,” Detroit attorney Mike Rataj, who represented the officer’s ex-wife, said. “We exposed it, and the prosecutors decided to drop the charges.”

The ex-wife filed a complaint with the Wayne County Ethics Board, and it was eventually passed on to Wayne County prosecutors.

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