February 6, 2016

Commissioners suspend Public Guardian

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — At a special personnel meeting on June 9, the Arenac County Board of Commissioners voted to suspend Sherilyn Jones, the county’s public guardian, without pay while an investigation into her office is performed.

Board Chairman Raymond Daniels said the investigation is being handled by Detective Sergeant David Rivard, West Branch State Police, and that the investigation delves into possible problems with some of the office’s accounts.

“His (Rivard) suggestion to us was to have a forensic audit done on some of the cases (of possible account issues),” Daniels said. “She (Jones) was interviewed by the State Police a couple of different times (before the suspension).”

According to Daniels, the public guardian handles estates for elderly people recommended to her by the Arenac County Probate Court.

“There’s right around 80 some clients that she’s the conservator for, or that she handles money for,” he said.

In Jones’ absence, Melissa Prohaska, an employee of the county’s Michigan State University Extension, is handling public guardian duties per an appointment made on June 12.

Daniels also said that the investigations into Jones’ office didn’t stem from client complaints and that the issues could be turn out to be simple bookkeeping errors.

Jones could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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