Suit targets sheriff over deputizing residents

FLINT (AP) — A federal lawsuit says the Genesee County sheriff received payments in exchange for deputizing residents who he thought would bolster his political power.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit by attorney Scott Batey says Robert Pickell deputized people for $65-$300 a year, which allowed them to act as a deputy and agent for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and receive work as process servers.

Pickell tells The Flint Journal  there’s “no merit” to the allegations in the lawsuit.

Pickell and a process server management company are named as defendants in the suit, which alleges violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Batey says “using political office for personal gain is outrageous.”