Battle Creek Commissioners Battle A Budget And More Allegations Of Police Corruption

Posted at 11:20 PM, Jun 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-04 23:20:55-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Allegations of police department corruption and cover-ups continue to surface despite the fact that the Calhoun County Prosecutor has cleared the department in a prior investigation.

The latest complaint came up at Tuesday night’s commission meeting.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Autumn Smith, a Battle Creek resident presented documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act that she says is proof that police officers tried to cover-up a car crash involving Officer William Gensch on his way into work back in 2012.

The accident report showed portions of the document left blank and inconsistencies when it comes to the time of the crash and time Officer Gensch clocked into work at the department.

According to the police reports, Officer Jennifer Appl, who FOX 17 has reported to have been in a relationship with Gensch, was the responding officer at the crash scene.

Smith brought this to the attention of the board members hoping the corruption investigation will continue.

“I hope that a thorough, independent investigation will take place.  I hope things will be looked into further.  I hope that if some of the actors in the corruption that I have outed are determined they need to go, then they need to go,” said Smith.

Both Gensch and Appl have been in the news before.

You may remember Appl and Gensch were involved in a drunk driving crash back in July.

The crash was caught on dash cam,

This Spring, Appl was accused of coming to work drunk.  She was arrested and the case is working its way through court.

Commissioner Jeff Domenico told FOX 17, the commission will continue to take complaints and evidence of corruption and plan to investigate them independently.

In the past, Chief Bobby Hampton has denied any claims of corruption within the department.

He has said that his department has been investigated and cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

After the commission meeting on Tuesday, he was not available to comment on the most recent allegations.

Another topic at the commission meeting was the city’s budget.

It passed, making it the first budget in Battle Creek in the past five years to pass without reductions according to the City Manager.

Not all commissioners were thrilled with the budget.

There was some debate over $250,000 that is being pulled from the Firefighter’s contingency fund to pay back city workers.

There was also some discussion about a 2% pay increase for non-union city employees in Battle Creek.