Ex-commissioner ordered to repay $143K



A former Kent County commissioner is required to pay more than $143,000 in restitution.

A Kent County judge ruled Sept. 21 that former Kent County Commissioner Michael Wawee Jr. must pay more than $143,000 to the Diocese of Grand Rapids as restitution for stolen gasoline and headstone engraving overcharges.

Last September, Wawee pleaded guilty to two felony charges, including embezzlement from a charity or nonprofit. Wawee resigned from the commission in February 2014 amid the allegations.

In November 2014, Wawee was sentenced to a year in jail for taking kickbacks for headstone engravings. At the same time, $214,000 was originally ordered in restitution — but that changed with Monday’s ruling.

The restitution includes $29,000 for stolen gasoline from Holy Cross Cemetery and repayment to overcharged cemetery customers.

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