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Village code enforcer forged document



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December 01, 2010 - The Genesee County Prosecutor's Office will not issue a warrant for the Village of Goodrich Code Enforcement officer who confessed to forging a letter notifying an area property owner of a violation.

Sgt. David Dwyre, Genesee County Sheriff Department, reported that an Atlas Township resident and Goodrich property owner had filed a complaint in October that Village Code Enforcer William Conley had forged a certified mail receipt in an attempt to allege that he had followed the policy and procedures of the village. The Village of Goodrich requires the code enforcement officer to make contact with a property owner through mail, phone and personal contact prior to issuing a citation.

According to the sheriff report, the property owner who was contacted by Conley via a phone conversation about being in non-compliance with the local codes on his property where Goodrich Car Care, 8223 S. State Road is located and operated by Rich Harshaw. Conley confessed to altering the date of an old certified letter from 7/12/07 to 7/12/10 that was mailed to Harshaw.

In the report, Harshaw said he was unable to claim the signature was forged, but he could not recall signing for the letter. Dwyre then went to the post office and verified the letter was not mailed in 2010.

Sgt. Dwyre contacted Conley, who first stated he mailed the letter to Harshaw. However, following an interview, he confessed the date was altered on the certified letter regarding the non-compliance in an attempt to get the Goodrich village manager, "off his back."

Conley resigned as village code enforcer on Oct. 26 where he also confessed to altering the date on the old certified letter.

"It's a policy of the village to notify residents when they are in violation," he said.

"The village attorney advised that even though Conley is expected to contact a person prior to a citation—he could have simply issued a citation to the property owner for his code violation. However, there was no crime committed—it was a policy of the village that was in question here, no charges were filed."

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