Garry Flanary was a special deputy for the Livingston County courts and he was tasked with distributing money from legal settlements to people involved in civil lawsuits.
On a dozen occasions between 2011 and 2017 officials said he instead kept the money he was supposed to distribute.
He was charged in 2019 with 12 counts of embezzlement of more than $50 by a public official and pleaded guilty in October to all counts.
As part of an agreement with the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office and Livingston County Judge Michael Hatty, he received a delayed sentencing, with the goal of Flanary producing $12,000 he still owes in restitution.
Stephen LaCommare, Flanary’s attorney, said the Hartland Township resident will pay at least $1,000 each month toward restitution.
On Thursday Hatty issued the delayed sentence of probation with the possibility of jail time.
“I am reserving jail time for when I do impose sentence because I want to have that option open to the court,” Hatty said. “I appreciate the fact that the defendant has put about two-thirds of the restitution paid today but that does not end the matter here. I’m seriously contemplating jail time because I just can’t have our court officers wreaking this kind of havoc on our citizens and court system.”
Livingston County Assistant Prosecuting AttorneyAngela DelVerosaid Flanary interfered with the administration of justice by withholding payments from the victims.
“Some of the civil defendants in some of these lawsuits paid Mr. Flanary and then had to repay their plaintiffs because the plaintiffs had no money. So some of these defendants, just to have the debt set aside, had to pay the money twice,” she said.
Flanary has repaid about $22,000 of the required $34,000 in restitution.
He is scheduled to return for sentencing on Oct. 28, 2021.
One man said Flanary came to his residence, identifying himself as a court officer and producing a badge, a law enforcement officer testified in a Nov. 2019 hearing that led to charges. The man said he gave Flanary approximately $26,000 to be paid to Corrigan Oil. None of the money was received by Corrigan Oil.
Another man claims Flanary never paid Lake Trust Credit Union money he owned on a car loan. The man said he gave Flanary $5,500, the officer testified.
The other cases share similarities: Flanary identified himself as a court officer, produced a badge, money was given to Flanary but the parties owed were never paid.
The officer testified Flanary asked people to meet him in store parking lots to collect money or send money orders to his Howell office.
On several occasions, Flanary deposited all of the money he received into his personal bank account, the officer testified.
A process server typically delivers legal documents, according to the National Association of Professional Process Servers.
Flanary had faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted as charged.
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