LAKEVIEW — The director of Lakeview’s Department of Public Works is being charged with embezzling from the village’s fleet vehicle fuel program.
Gary Lee Jensen, 61, of Lakeview, was arraigned today in 64B District Court in Stanton. He is charged with embezzlement over $50 as a public official, a felony. He is scheduled for a pre-trial on Friday and a preliminary examination on Jan. 22.
According to Lakeview Village Manager James Freed, he and his administrative team were alerted by internal control measures several months ago regarding discrepancies within the DPW’s fleet vehicle fuel program. The discrepancies were documented, logged and held as evidence.
The Lakeview Police Department and the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post began an internal investigation to review the discrepancies. The Michigan State Police eventually took over the investigation and arrested Jensen today.
Freed has removed Jensen from his position as DPW director. Jensen had worked for Lakeview’s DPW for about 10 years, including about two years as manager. He oversaw three employees, plus seasonal workers. The Village Council will officially vote on Jensen’s removal at a future meeting.
Freed also removed Jensen as manager of Lakeview’s Griffith Field airport, a position Jensen was promoted to in 2008 after previously working as the general services foreman at the airport.
“We have deployed strong internal control measures to ensure the highest standard of ethical operating within our governmental operations,” Freed said. “These procedures are designed to alert us when fraud occurs. We are all saddened by these developments, but our dedication to the community and our dedication to ensuring integrity in our operations are unshaken.”