Allegation in county treasurer’s office reported

August 20, 2014

HART — A criminal allegation in the Oceana County Treasurer’s Office is being investigated by the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon confirmed that an allegation in the treasurer’s office was made but did not specify the nature of the allegation. Bizon said he disqualified himself as prosecutor due to a conflict of interest. “It would be problematic or inappropriate for this office to make any decision on that file,” he said. “An allegation has been made and a report was submitted.”

According to a report by Wood TV 8 today, County Treasurer Sheila Gowell is under investigation for property seized by the county. Gowell is allegedly involved in stealing from property that had been foreclosed on by her office, Wood TV 8 reports.

The case involves a beachfront home on Lake Michigan, according to Wood TV 8.

The investigation began after a complaint was filed by someone who was looking after the house for the homeowner and noticed some things were missing and contacted police, Wood TV 8 reports, and Gowell is suspected of taking the property.

Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola, who has been named as the special prosecutor in the case, will determine whether Gowell faces charges. Spaniola could not be reached for comment today.

Updates will be posted as they become available.

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