Van Wert has been charged with four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of making false certification under the vehicle code (obtaining restricted information) and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network.
Deputy Dale Van Wert charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Former Bay County sheriff deputy back in court
Dale Van Wert charged with 11 felonies
By Jennifer Borrasso
BAY COUNTY (WJRT)
A former Bay County sheriff's deputy was back in court Monday, charged with 11 felonies. And his legal problems don't stop there. Just last week he was charged with raping a teenage girl at his home.
Dale Van Wert was fired last year from the Bay County Sheriff's Department after being charged with 11 felonies.
Prosecutors say that while on duty, Van Wert collected fees and served papers for his private business, Court Integrity Services. They also say he signed false information on those papers.
Last year, ABC12 profiled Van Wert and his wife in their adoption of children who came from an abused home.
Monday it was a much different story. The former Bay County sheriff's deputy now has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at his home.
He was back in court for another case where he faces 11 felonies and is charged with conducting private business while on duty and then pocketing money that should have gone to the county.
The prosecutor pointed out that Van Wert tried to get information such as addresses about people he was trying to serve by calling Bay County 911.
"I don't see the connection that the information relayed to 911 was necessarily improper," said defense attorney Matt Reyes.
"You heard the 911 operator testify that no explanation is needed when requesting information."
Jeri Middleton testified that she took papers from Van Wert and personally delivered them to two jail inmates. "When you serve paper in the jail that you had signed on the line as the person who served, do you know why your signature is not contained on that?" she said.
"I asked Dale, 'Do you want me to sign this?' He said, 'Oh, yes.' I knew it was wrong. I didn't know. I just did what he said."
"I think at best what they've shown is maybe he signed the paperwork on the wrong line or maybe he should have had Ms. Middleton sign on the line above. I don't think that's forgery," Reyes said.
Van Wert is in the Saginaw County Jail stemming from the rape case.
Former sheriff's deputy faces felony charges
The Bay City Times
By TIM YOUNKMAN
Saturday, September 30, 2006
A former Bay County Sheriff's deputy on Friday was arraigned in Bay County District Court on 15 misdemeanor and felony counts stemming from collecting fees for serving court papers on county time.
Dale P. Van Wert, 48, of Garfield Township, has been dismissed from the Bay County Sheriff's Office, said Sheriff John E. Miller. If convicted, Van Wert faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Miller said he conducted a hearing on accusations of misconduct within the department but Van Wert would not answer questions or explain his activities. As a result, he was fired.
Van Wert and his Bay City attorney Matt Reyes declined comment after the arraignment in which Van Wert demanded a preliminary examination on the charges against him. No date for that hearing was set but a conference of attorneys and District Judge Craig Alston will be held Nov. 9.
Van Wert was allowed to remain free on his own recognizance. Bay County Prosecutor Kurt Asbury, who was in the courtroom at the arraignment Friday, declined comment.
In a recent interview with The Times, Van Wert - who was a candidate for a seat on the Bay County Board of Commissioners - was critical of the Sheriff's Department management structure. He was defeated in a primary election in August.
The sheriff's deputies often serve court papers for a fee ranging from $10 to $30 plus mileage but Van Wert has operated a private company called Court Service Integrity for 10 years, a business that also serves court papers, such as subpoenas, summonses, small claims papers, eviction notices and divorce papers to defendants and witnesses in legal disputes.
Miller charged that Van Wert often conducted his private business while on duty, which was a conflict of interest, and that he pocketed the money for serving the papers which should have gone to the county.
Van Wert has been charged with four counts of perjury, three counts of uttering and publishing, four counts of making false certification under the vehicle code (obtaining restricted information) and four counts of unauthorized use of information from the Law Enforcement Information Network. All of the charges are felonies except those involving the LEIN information, court documents show.