LANSING, MI – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Public Integrity Unit (PIU) has charged Werner Noll, 63-years-old, of Kalamazoo with fraud.
Noll has been employed by the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) as an Elevator Inspector since 1998. These charges follow an investigation by Schuette’s PIU and LARA into Noll’s alleged golfing activity and use of a state vehicle for private use while on the state taxpayers’ dime.
A.G. Charges Werner Noll, a State of Michigan Elevator Inspector from Kalamazoo, with Three Counts of Felony Fraud
“At all levels of government, taxpayers deserve honesty and accountability from those who work on their behalf,” said Schuette. “Scam artists who aim to take advantage of state resources will face justice.”
“We thank Attorney General Schuette and his staff for working closely with our department to bring this individual to justice,” said LARA Director Mike Zimmer. “We are committed to upholding the highest level of honesty and integrity for the citizens we serve.”
Last August, a Kalamazoo news reporter uncovered possible fraud by Noll after allegedly observing Noll play golf several times during normal State of Michigan working hours. An Attorney General investigation revealed that Noll allegedly used state time for personal activities in 2012, 2013 and 2014 for a total of 84 days in question and a cost to taxpayers of more than $8,000. It’s also alleged that Noll used a State of Michigan vehicle during these personal activities.
On January 29, 2015 in the City of Lansing’s 54A District Court, Schuette filed three counts of False Pretenses, a felony, which carries a punishment of up to five years in prison, against Noll.
Schuette’s Public Integrity Unit
On January 4, 2011, Attorney General Schuette created a new Public Integrity Unit (PIU) in the Attorney General’s office to ratchet up the fight against corruption in state and local government, protect tax dollars and restore the public’s trust in government. The Public Integrity Unit allows the office to put an increased focus on public corruption cases, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office.
Since taking office in 2011, Schuette’s PIU has filed 303 charges against 61 individuals holding positions of public trust, including state and local government officials. To date, 45 defendants have been sentenced following their convictions on a total of 126 charges.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.