Government, Human Resources, and Law

Judge sentences ex-Kent County commissioner

November 26, 2014
| By AP |
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Commissioner charged with felonies over cemetery plots
Michael Wawee, Jr.’s mug shot.

An ex-Kent County commissioner has been sentenced to jail for taking kickbacks while working in sales.

Michael Wawee, Jr., who sold cemetery services for the Catholic church in Grand Rapdis, was sentenced yesterday to a year in jail for taking kickbacks from headstone engravers, two months after pleading guilty to embezzlement from a charitable organization.

He resigned from his seat on the board of commissioners due to the case.

A judge ordered $214,000 in restitution, but that figure may change.

Ed Carey, chief financial officer of the Grand Rapids Diocese, said Wawee has never apologized.

The 44-year-old Wawee told a judge that he treated every family "as if it were my own."

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