CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Prosecutor’s Office’s investigator is facing a potential charge of trespassing on private property March 16 while investigating the former Shiawassee County corrections deputy fired by Sheriff Brian BeGole in November 2019, according to an Owosso police report obtained by The Argus-Press via a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to police reports dated March 17, Kathy McGuckin reported to Owosso police a pattern of “harassment and threats” by investigator Mark Pendergraff directed toward tenants at the property she manages — four months after she was terminated from the sheriff’s office and two months after Pendegraff had received a no-trespassing warning.
Owosso City Attorney Scott Gould said Wednesday he has received the report from Owosso police, and is in the process of reviewing it. He declined to comment, except to say no determination has been made on a trespassing charge.
The property where the alleged trespass took place is managed by McGuckin, who was fired from her position as a corrections deputy in November 2019 by BeGole for “violating department policies.” She has since filed a wrongful termination/whistleblower lawsuit against BeGole seeking damages in excess of $100,000. She does not own the property in question.
Pendergraff — a former Michigan State Police Lieutenant — apparently visited the rental property several times, even after receiving a certified letter from the property owner that stated: “This letter is to inform you that after numerous complaints of harassment and intimidation from the tenants… (This) letter serve(s) as your official notice that you, your designee or any member of your department will not enter onto the premises.”
The letter was received by Sheriff’s Office personnel Jan. 21, according to delivery receipts included in the police reports.
McGuckin contacted Owosso police March 17 and filed a trespassing complaint after a tenant reported to her that Pendergraff had visited the property the previous day.
According to the police report, the tenant told police in two separate interviews that Pendergraff, whom he knew from a previous visit by Pendergraff to the property, had knocked on his door for “about 5 minutes” and drove “a black sedan.” The tenant did not answer the door either time, according to his statements to Owosso police.
At least four current or former residents in the multi-unit rental gave statements confirming Pendergraff visited the property several times beginning as early as Dec. 11, 2019.
One tenant said BeGole personally came to his residence to question him regarding McGuckin, and that individual gave at least two interviews to BeGole.
Pendergraff was interviewed by police regarding McGuckin’s complaint on May 29, and stated “this complaint is in regards to an internal investigation on Kathy McGuckin that he was conducting for the Shiawassee County sheriff.”
In his interview with police, Pendergraff denied he worked March 16, and said he did not know the tenant’s name, who they were, and had never had any prior contact with them.
Pendergraff also told Owosso detectives the tenant who claims he saw him at the property March 16 was lying. Pendergraff also said “if he did anything outside of his normal hours he would be putting in to get paid for it.” He provided electronic copies of time card records with no record of him working March 16.
The investigation was allegedly related to McGuckin not applying or being approved for “supplemental employment,” despite her managing the property prior to the beginning of her six-year period of employment with the Sheriff’s Office and after it ended.
The Argus-Press obtained emails in December 2019 that showed Shiawassee County Jail Administrator Lt. Tamie Willson had prior to that point attempted to obtain personal contact information from Michigan Department of Corrections personnel for a former tenant at the property McGuckin manages.
The MDOC employee refused to divulge any information to Willson, replying they were “offended and angry that you’re involving me, albeit in a ‘back door’ manner, in your department’s drama and investigations. If you would like further information, please contact my supervisor.”