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Former GR city employee accused of embezzlement waives preliminary hearing

It's alleged the employee stole more than $63,000 between March 2019 and September 2021.
Credit: 13OYS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — UPDATE 10:08 a.m.

Former Grand Rapids city employee, Lenee Brooks, attended court on Tuesday where she waived her right to a preliminary hearing in the 61st District Court. The case will now head to trial at the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County.

Original Story:

A former Grand Rapids city employee is charged with embezzlement.

It's alleged Lenee Brooks took money raised during auctions at the city impound lot. Court documents say Brooks and another employee would count the money after the auction, and Brooks would then take them to city hall.

Investigators say her supervisor noticed discrepancies in paperwork, which led to an internal investigation.

It's alleged Brooks stole more than $63,000 between March 2019 and September 2021.

In an affidavit released by the 61st District Court, police received a search warrant for Brooks' bank records, they noticed that the suspect made several deposits equal to the amounts of cash stolen in her personal bank account within a week of the auctions.

When Brooks was interviewed about the missing cash by police she said that she could have made an error.

The City of Grand Rapids released a statement about the investigation into the case:

"The City takes fraud and corruption very seriously. Following an internal investigation, this case was presented to the Prosecutors Office and they authorized a criminal charge of Embezzlement over $50,000. This individual no longer works for the City and we have since made changes to prevent future abuses. The City auctions off vehicles abandoned at the impound lot to cover the cost of operations. As with any auction, a wide-range of variables – from the condition of the vehicle to the bidder’s preferences – will influence how much money is exchanged in each transaction. We’re not in a position to disclose specific details beyond what we’ve provided at this point. In order to respect the integrity of the criminal proceedings, we’ll decline further comment at this time."

Brooks worked for the city from June 2016 until October 2021. She is no longer a city employee.

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