Arcadia Township Faces Lawsuit from Treasurer Amid Financial Concerns

Arcadia Township in Manistee County is facing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from its treasurer.

Treasurer Debbra Eckhout filed the lawsuit after she says she didn’t get public documents.

But the township supervisor says the board has seen enough concern with how Eckhout is doing her job to go to police.

Arcadia Township Treasure Debbra Eckhout says she filed a FOIA lawsuit against the township after she did not get a number of documents she requested. They included documents she says pertained to an issue she recently uncovered at the township marina.

“A lot of them were pertaining to some ghost employee fraud with the marina our local marina, other issues were just planning and zoning and billing. My attorney has received 801 documents to date, I understand there are more to come,” said Eckhout.

But recent township minutes also show the township board has raised questions about Eckhout, including a safety deposit box the board says they weren’t aware of and a claim of a lack of records by Eckhout.

“My records are very few I have bank statements, I have reimbursement tax reports but that’s really about all, I don’t really have a lot of documents my job is very narrow in scope as treasurer,” says Eckhout.

However Township Supervisor Janice McCraner says enough financial concerns were there for a forensic audit. She also says Eckhout won’t adhere to the boards banking resolution.

‘There were many discrepancies and we had a lot of financial concerns, and when our audit came back there were discrepancies with that so we felt we needed to move forward with a forensic audit,” explained McCraner.

That audit highlighted more concerns but found no fraud. The board also sent information to the Manistee County Sheriff’s Department. In a letter obtained by 9&10 News, the Manistee County Prosecutor decided on Friday not to file charges against Eckhout.

“We were surprised the prosecutor came back with his results because we really had presented a lot of documentation so it was a surprise to many of us,” said McCraner.

The board will held a special meeting Monday night to discuss financial concerns they still have.