An ex-state trooper alleges in a new whistleblower suit that he was wrongly fired for reporting an illicit party involving high-ranking officers.
Mark Andrews tells the Free Press the party involved higher-ups drinking on duty when social-distancing orders were in place. He reportedly did not attend, but says he has documents showing it happened and that a colleague said he saw a sergeant with an alcoholic beverage.
Aside from the consumption of alcohol on duty, Andrews said the gathering was galling to him because at the time he was investigating several area businesses for alleged violations of other pandemic rules handed down by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Shanon Banner, a spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police, said Andrews' concerns were fully investigated.
"The investigation determined that members of the Monroe Post did meet at a private residence" that day, for a scheduled staff meeting, which was held outdoors to comply with pandemic restrictions, Banner said.
"There was no evidence that alcoholic beverages were consumed during this meeting. An informal gathering occurred after the meeting (starting at 3 p.m.), and members attending were off duty at the time per their respective timesheets."
Andrews alleges he was fired twice for bringing attention to the issue. An arbitrator overturned the first, stemming in part from the length of time he took to take to file a domestic violence complaint, but he was sentenced internally to a 20-day unpaid suspension. He was also transferred 45 minutes from his home and longtime post of Monroe and given desk duty.
Andrews was fired again for raising the issue in a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with supervisors saying he falsely alleged misconduct.