Richmond police chief back on the job after reportedly misusing LEIN system

Posted at 2:22 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 17:27:43-04

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Chief Tom Costello is back on the job and back in court still charged with a crime. His defense attorney believes the charge should be dropped.

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

Costello admits to running personal information in the LEIN, Law Enforcement Information Network. A computer system that has extensive information on all of us.

Is the Richmond Police Chief getting preferential treatment? Or should a police chief be held to a high standard?

The Chief was put on paid leave last month when the case was first charged. Then last week, put back on the job by the city manager and city council.

We confronted Costello outside of court about his case. He said, “I’m not going to say anything.”

7 Action News speaks with Richmond Police Chief

The investigation report from the Macomb County Sheriff says Costello admitted to running information for a female dispatcher who has an adult son in a child custody issue, that Costello, “took it upon himself to run___ through LEIN to possibly find her new address.

The charge is a misdemeanor. It is postponed in court by his Defense Attorney Art Weiss who tells 7 Action News, this should all go away.

“I want this case dismissed. Because a crime wasn’t committed. The facts that I know, a crime was not committed. I intend to ask the prosecutor’s office to do the right thing.”

Jim Kiertzner speaks with Richmond chief's attorney

Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido says he’ll check with state police, do they believe this incident is a crime.

And Lucido tells 7 Action News, “If they say, that he does have a right to run it, then why don’t we just go ahead and put a big billboard out there that everybody has a right to go get their LEINS run.”

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido on Richmond Police Chief

The Richmond City County and City Manager put Costello back on the job effective September 1. In a memo to the Police Department, it says Costello is restricted from using the LEIN while the court process continues.

City Manager Jon Moore tells 7 Action News, “There may be discipline coming. But we’re going to wait for the court. And again, we don’t believe that level of discipline should rise to the level of termination.”

People in Richmond see both sides of this. Kim Pacini says, “If there was a mistake, he’s probably paid for it internally.”

Kim Pacini on Richmond Police Chief

Florence Sawicki says, “I would say yes, he should be held to a higher standard because that personal information should stay personal.”

Florence Sawicki on Richmond Police Chief

This case could still take weeks to resolve.