Charges against former Chief Information Officer

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 17:09:31-05

The former chief information officer of Ingham County is being charged with a felony, accused of accepting inappropriate gifts from contractors.

Michael Ashton was charged Thursday in 55th District Court with Purchasing Agent Violations.

Mason Police Chief John Stressman says the charge is a potential 2-5 year felony.

Ashton was fired in October of 2015.

Emails show Ashton received free tickets to see the Lions, the Tigers and the Red Wings from county contractors, breaking the ethics ordinance.

Emails show eight separate instances where Ashton got free gifts from Comcast and Information Systems Intelligence.

Mason Police investigated whether the actions constituted any criminal charges. They gave their report to the Jackson County Prosecutor, who issued a warrant for the felony charge.

Ashton was released on bond and is scheduled for a preliminary examination in 55th District court February 4th.