ALPENA - A plea agreement has been reached in the case of the former commander of the Huron Undercover Narcotics Team. Lt. Delmer Putnam Jr., who was charged with willful neglect of duty contrary to MCL 750.478 , pleaded guilty to willful neglect of duty pursuant to a plea agreement on Wednesday.
Putnam, a detective lieutenant, was arraigned in 88th District Court in Alpena on the charge of willful neglect of duty by a public officer, contrary to MCL 750.748. He has been suspended since the investigation began in February.
The investigation leading to the charges started in early February. As a result of the investigation Putnam was suspended that same month.
Following the completion of the initial investigation the matter was referred to the Michigan Attorney General's Office. The attorney general then appointed Charles H. Koop, Antrim County prosecutor, as special prosecuting attorney in April. Additional investigation was conducted as well as research warrants were issued in August for insurance and bank records.
During the investigation it was discovered that during late 2011 and early 2012, Putnam used funds belonging to HUNT for his own personal use. These funds were intended for undercover purchases of illegal drugs.
The plea agreement was as follows:
Koop said this was a difficult case. The primary goal of the plea agreement was to ensure Putnam would no longer be a law enforcement officer, and he could never again be a law enforcement officer in Michigan, along with public acknowledgment by Putnam that he used public funds for his own personal use.
In a press release, the MSP stated: "The MSP has a long-standing tradition of demanding the highest possible standards of professional conduct from its enlisted and civilian members, To that end, all allegations of misconduct are aggressively investigated. the process used to investigate allegations of misconduct is clearly established in department policy. Oversight of the investigation process is the responsibility of the Internal Affairs Section."