Ex-officer’s fraud case waived to grand jury

Ex-officer’s fraud case waived to grand jury
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
A former Union City police officer charged in an August 2010 theft incident waived his case to the grand jury this morning in Obion County General Sessions Court.
Mike Hogg, 42, waived the case during a brief appearance shortly after 10 this morning before Obion County General Sessions Judge Jimmy Smith.
Hogg was arrested Dec. 21, 2011, by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on charges of filing a false report, insurance fraud and theft.
He had been employed with the Union City Police Department since June 2007 and was terminated effective Dec. 28 following a seven-day suspension period that began the day of his arrest.
Hogg’s preliminary hearing on the charges was scheduled for this morning in General Sessions Court. He was accompanied by his attorney, Jim Powell, for an appearance that lasted only about three minutes.
Powell told the judge they wished to waive the case to the grand jury, which is scheduled to convene Feb. 6 for its next regular term. Arraignments for anyone indicted will be held a week later on Feb. 13 in Obion County Circuit Court.
Smith said Hogg would remain free on bond.
The charges against Hogg stem from an investigation of a stolen four-wheeler reported to the Obion County Sheriff’s Department nearly 18 months ago.
According to TBI agent Mark Reynolds’ arrest affidavit, Hogg reported to the sheriff’s department Aug. 7, 2010, that a four-wheeler was stolen from his residence at 1309 Lookout Drive near Union City. He then allegedly contacted Farm Bureau Insurance and filed a claim of theft, with the insurance company paying a claim for a stolen four-wheeler.
Reynolds said in his affidavit it was established that the four-wheeler was given to someone by Hogg prior to the stolen report and the insurance claim being filed. The agent alleged Hogg saw the four-wheeler after the report and claim were filed and was aware of the location.
According to the affidavit, Hogg allegedly obtained a warranty claim totaling about $3,000 from Abernathy’s and used the money “to gain a benefit” from the gun shop, L&A Firearms.
Reynolds also stated in the affidavit that agents interviewed Hogg and he allegedly gave a false statement to TBI agents by denying any involvement with the theft, “hindering the investigation” and resulting in the charge of filing a false report.
Hogg’s arrest also launched an internal investigation by the Union City Police Department.
As a result, three Union City police officers have been placed on suspension and will be terminated at the end of that period for policy violations. Union City Police Chief Joe Garner said Wednesday the investigation revealed no criminal activity on the part of the three officers.
Additionally, a deputy with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department resigned Dec. 27 while he was on suspension, according to Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.19.12

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