DETROIT - As the Democratic nominee for Wayne County executive, former sheriff Warren Evans is expected to be Wayne's next leader. However, Evans was in court as an expert witness against the county in the whistle-blower suit Monday.
Evans is testifying as a hired witness in support of fired Wayne County sheriff's deputy Renee Newell.
Newell was the jail's former compliance officer. She claims Jail Administrator Jariel Heard fired her for telling her superiors that Heard was misappropriating or misusing county jail funds.
She claims Heard hired a young woman named Tiffany Burgess, his niece, to work in the Wayne County Jail. Newell reported that Burgess was paid $45,000 a year, improperly taken from the jail commissary fund profits made from selling inmates candy, pop and sundries inside the jail.
Newell's lawsuit alleges that Heard used her as a scapegoat after it was revealed an inmate was allowed access to a laptop and used it to run an online porn business.
Newell says she was merely doing her job. She believes Heard and Sheriff Benny Napoleon retaliated against her for making the claim.
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