Richmond police chief charged for allegedly misusing system to find info on local woman

Tom Costello
Posted at 4:10 PM, Aug 05, 2022

RICHMOND, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tom Costello was sworn in as police chief in the City of Richmond in March. He’s on paid leave after being charged with misuse of the Law Enforcement Information Network, allegedly to get personal information on a woman in nearby Washington Township.

The LEIN is for official police business only. This charge is a misdemeanor. But 7 Action News has learned this is not the first time this has happened in Richmond. Years ago, a dispatcher was fired for getting personal information but got her job back through arbitration, according to City Manager Jon Moore.

Moore says he put Costello on leave after getting a call from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

“We were informed on Tuesday that the Macomb County Sheriff's Department will be charging or has charged our chief of police with a misuse of LIEN, which is a misdemeanor,” Moore said.

Costello’s online biography in Richmond says he started in 1995 in Saginaw then worked 20 years in Center Line — much of it as a detective — and retired in 2019.

The allegations of misuse came from a woman in nearby Washington Township who went to police in Romeo who directed her to the Macomb County sheriff. They confirmed that charge has been authorized by the prosecutor.

We tried to reach Costello but were not successful.

Moore told 7 Action News, “We'll also be doing an internal investigation. We take these allegations very seriously.”

It is not clear when Costello will appear in court in Romeo and enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.