AP expects rent check theft verdict Monday

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — The Allen Park Housing Commission expects to hear a verdict in the case involving an employee who admitted Monday to stealing rent checks from residents.

Erica Pollack — the former housing employee who admitted to stealing residents’ rent checks in exchange for a potential diversion program — is set to attend a meeting with prosecutors in 36th District Court to discuss her eligibility to avoid trial and potential legal consequences.

Andrew Hill, executive director of the Leo Paluch Senior Apartments and housing commissioner, said there are only two options for Pollack after her meeting with the prosecutor: she is accepted into the program and the commission works out the details for restitution, or she is not eligible for the program and the case will be taken to trial.

Whether she receives the opportunity for the program, the commission will seek restitution to “cover their loss and expenses over a finite period of time.” The commission said they are seeking about $13,000 from Pollack “to be made whole” within the first month.

Dennis Miller, the legal counsel for the commission, said if Pollack receives the diversion program, usually the restitution is made within the first month and she would receive a good deal. He said a month is not out of the ordinary for situations like this, but acknowledges it could be about a year or more before they see the money if she is denied the diversion or receives probation.

“The fact of the matter is, if she gets the diversion and it is such a good deal (for her), she will somehow find a way to come up with the money to resolve this situation with us,” Miller said. “But, that is our best hope.”

Published reports said Pollack and the prosecution may have agreed to a diversion program and avoid trial because she had information about alleged racial discrimination within the housing community. Those reports stated she was instructed to mark the applications of African Americans with a yellow highlighter near the Department of Housing and Urban Development equal housing logo.

The Office of the Inspector General is still investigating those allegations.

It was confirmed that she will be meeting with prosecutors Monday morning, but a specific time for the meeting was unavailable at press time.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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