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Commissioner resigns after allegations of embezzlement

KENT COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kent County Commissioner has announced that he will be resigning.

Michael Wawee Jr. is accused of stealing money from a West Michigan non-profit.

He will step down from his position on the board effective February 28th.

He was charged with embezzling up to $20,000 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

A spokesperson says Wawee worked full time coordinating and selling services for the five cemeteries the diocese owns.

The diocese contacted police after noticing "irregularities."

If convicted, he faces up to 15-years in prison. 

"We, as a board, have continued to operate without a glitch," said Board Chairman Dan Koorndyk. "It has not impacted day-to-day operations at all. We have a professional, dedicated staff in Kent County that manages the operations."

The Kent Co. Board of Commissioners has 30 days from the effective date of resignation to select an individual to replace Mr. Wawee through the rest of his term.