DPW staffer admits guilt in gambling ring

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — A Trenton Public Works employee pleaded guilty last week to charges of running a sports gambling operation while on company time and using city-owned resources.

Kevin Sargent, 35, and Flat Rock Police Sgt. Charles Sanders Jr., 46, were charged in January with 14 counts of racketeering and conducting illegal gambling operations after a year-long investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sargent pleaded guilty to 14 counts of illegal sports betting, a misdemeanor, and agreed to testify against Sanders, according the Attorney General. Sargent was expected to be sentenced to two years probation.

The plea deal may allow Sargent to remain on staff in Trenton. City Administrator Jim Wagner said that Sargent was suspended following the arraignment, exhausted personal leave and vacation time and was suspended without pay before returning to work in March.

“Once we get official notification from the court we will discuss it with labor relations,” Wagner said. “We have discussed some parameters for Sargent’s continued employment. He’s back working and awaiting the final outcome.”

Sanders pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, a felony with a potential five year sentence. Schuette said his office will seek incarceration for Sanders.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said the two took bets while on duty using city phones and equipment.

“Officials who break the law and use taxpayer resources to do it will face justice,” Schuette said.