State worker from Oakland County uses Michigan cars for personal use during weekends, holidays

Farmington Hills man sentenced to probation, restitution

Rufus Chappell. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – A state worker from Oakland County has been sentenced for using state of Michigan vehicles for personal use during weekends and holidays, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Rufus Chappell, 64, of Farmington Hills, worked as an unemployment examiner for the state and had permission to use its cars for work purposes.

From August 2015 to January 2019, Chappell was allowed to use state vehicles to attend unemployment insurance benefit appeal hearings, but he also took the cars for personal use over weekends, holidays, and outside business hours, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Chappell is accused of racking up $47,214.85 worth of usage and milage fees during those personal trips.

“Government workers must be held accountable when they steal from taxpayers,” Nessel said.

When Chappell’s driver’s license got suspended during his employment with the state, officials investigated his vehicle use and uncovered “rampant and flagrant misuse.”

A jury found Chappell guilty of embezzlement in April. He was sentenced Friday, May 17, 2024, to three years of probation and $47,214.85 in restitution.

About the Author

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.

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