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Michael Wawee Jr., has been charged with embezzling

Just weeks after one Kent County commissioner resigned while facing sexual conduct charges, another Kent County commissioner has been arraigned on embezzlement charges.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 3, 2014) – Kent County Commissioner Michael Wawee Jr. worked at Holy Cross Cemetery for more than 20 years, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

He’s now in the Kent County Jail. He’s accused of embezzling from cemetery clients.

Wawee is a sales associate at the cemetery. He’s responsible for selling grave sites, facilitating marker engraving, as well as funeral services.

The Diocese owns and operates five cemeteries, including Holy Cross. Carl Apple, communications director for the Diocese,  said as soon as the allegations came out, Grand Rapids police started their investigation. The investigation took place over a period of months, he said. Wawee was placed on administrative leave without pay.

It’s not clear how much Wawee is accused of stealing, but a felony warrant said the amount was between $1,000 and $20,000. He’s also charged with false pretenses.

FOX 17 retrieved court records on Wawee. Numerous filings regarding a personal protection order (PPO)were found. His ex-wife filed the PPOs and PPO extensions in the early to mid-2000s. She claimed he was mentally, physically, and verbally abusive and that he threatened to kill her. She accused him of violating the PPO. Wawee and his ex-wife have a son together and  Wawee had parental visitations.

Wawee is due back in court for his preliminary hearing February 11.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County Commissioner Michael Wawee Jr., has been charged with embezzling from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

A felony warrant lists the diocese as the victim. A diocese spokesperson told FOX 17 Wawee works as a sales associate for Holy Cross Cemetery in Grand Rapids. The diocese owns and operates the cemetery. That’s where the alleged embezzlement took place.

Wawee is also charged with false pretenses. It’s not clear how much Wawee allegedly embezzled. However, according to court documents, the amount is between $1,000 and $20,000.

Wawee is currently running for re-election.

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News
02/03/14

Another Kent County Commissioner Arrested

Wawee—MichaelGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Just weeks after one Kent County commissioner resigned while facing sexual conduct charges, another Kent County commissioner has been arraigned on embezzlement charges.

Michael Jay Wawee, Jr., Republican commissioner in the county’s 6th District, was arraigned Monday, charged with embezzlement from a non-profit organization over $1,000 under $20,000.

FOX 17 News is working to find out where the embezzlement is alleged to have occurred. Wawee’s campaign web site claims he had “oversight of the West Michigan Sports Commission” and was chair of Steepletown Neighborhood Services. The West Michigan Sports Commission web site lists Wawee as an advisor.

The Kent County Commission was shocked last year when then-Commissioner Gary Rolls was escorted from a meeting in handcuffs and charged with criminal sexual conduct, plus other charges. He resigned his seat.

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