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AG Nessel: Two charged with falsifying records of alcohol breath testing equipment

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Posted at 11:08 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 11:08:57-04

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel's office said two technicians, contracted to service all the DataMaster DMT (DataMaster Transportable) breath alcohol testing instruments for the lower peninsula, face criminal charges.

The testing instruments, or breathalyzers are used by law enforcement across the state to measure alcohol levels of drivers suspected to be under the influence of alcohol.

The attorney general's office said Michigan State Police entered a contract with Intoximeters Inc beginning on Sept. 1, 2018, to provide ongoing maintenance and repairs, in addition to 120-day-on-site inspections on each of the 203 DataMaster DMTs within the state of Michigan.

The AG's office said each technician "was required to physically visit each site to conduct various diagnostic verifications, calibrations and repairs," according to a press release.

The AG's office said discrepancies in some submitted diagnostic reports surfaced during a routine technical review by MSP's Breath Alcohol Program on Jan. 2, 2020.

Nessel's office said it is alleged that two of the three Intoximeters Inc technicians, Andrew Clark and David John, "created fictitious documents to show they completed certain diagnostic tests and repairs on two DataMaster instruments for which they had responsibility for calibration and performance," with one incident involving a DMT instrument at the Beverly Hills Police Department, and the other one involving a DMT instrument located at the Alpena County Sheriff's office.

Once MSP discovered the issue, it temporarily removed all instruments from service and began investigating, notifying both its criminal justice partners and the public about the issue, the attorney general's office said.

After a four-month investigation, the AG's office said a total of nine felony charges have been issued against John, 39, of Kalamazoo. The attorney general's office said a total of six felony charges were issued against Clark, 53, of Oxford.

The AG's office said these specific charges have been filed:

Clark, charged in Eaton County:
• Two counts, forgery of a public record, a 14-year felony charge;
• Two counts, uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony charge; and
• Two counts, use of a computer to commit a crime, a 10-year felony charge.

John, charged in Kalamazoo County:
• Three counts, forgery of a public record, a 14-year felony charge;
• Three counts, uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony charge; and
• Three counts, use of a computer to commit a crime, a 10-year felony charge.

“Those who hold positions of trust and responsibility at any level within our overall system of justice must be held to a high standard. When that trust is betrayed, it is incumbent upon my department to ensure accountability on behalf of the people of our state.” Nessel said. “I’m grateful for the Michigan State Police’s assistance in this investigation, and I know that the MSP and my Public Integrity Unit have handled this matter appropriately and in the public’s best interest.”

“From the time we first uncovered discrepancies, the MSP was committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation, and to being as transparent as possible regarding the outcomes of this situation,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “We recognize the critical role these instruments can play in drunk driving convictions and we are confident that a properly calibrated and maintained DataMaster remains an extremely reliable instrument.”

The AG's office said certified MSP staff have been conducting ongoing maintenance, repairs and 120-day-inspections for the instruments since Jan. 10, 2020 and will keep doing so.

The AG's office said MSP's contract with Intoximeters Inc. was officially terminated April 9, 2020.

Clark has been arraigned in the Eaton County District Court and has been given a personal recognizance bond and is scheduled for a probable cause conference at 4 p.m. June 1, the AG's office said.

The AG's office said John will be arraigned at a later due to reduced court operations as a result of COVID-19.

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