Veteran gifted new roof by local nonprofit has criminal past exposed

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 08:38:03-04

A United States Navy veteran's criminal past is exposed after he was gifted a brand new roof by a local nonprofit agency. 

Michael Lewandowsk, 75, was given a brand new roof through a partnership between Reasonable Roofing and Remodeling, a local roofing company, and Blue Water Habitat for Humanity. 

On Thursday, June 21, Lewandowski, a resident of Port Huron, had the roof replaced on the home he inherited from his parents. 

Soon after news broke of the veteran's gift, word also spread of his criminal past. 

The veteran, who served during the Vietnam era, has a violent past. Lewandowski was convicted of second degree murder for killing his wife in 1972. He pleaded guilty to aggravated stalking in 1998. A year later, after being a free man, Lewandowski was again arrested and convicted of stalking in 2003. He also did time in prison for being a habitual offender, and since 2008 he has been free. 

Blue Water Habitat for Humanity said that they do have a vetting process, but did not uncover Lewandowski's criminal history. 

The nonprofit is now reviewing its background check policies and procedures, and apologized to anyone affected by what transpired. 

The Blue Water Habitat for Humanity responded in a statement saying: 

 All homeowners who apply for assistance through Blue Water Habitat for Humanity’s repair program are subject to a criminal background check through the Michigan Department of Corrections’ Offender Tracking Information System. Blue Water Habitat performed this check on Mr. Lewandowski in accordance with this policy. The check revealed no information about any prior criminal history, and Blue Water Habitat had no other knowledge about his previous convictions. We are reviewing our procedures and policy to ensure a better qualified background check procedure. We have reached out to Ms. Pulleyblank and Mr. Reynolds to personally express our regret for this unfortunate situation and offer the same to anyone else affected by this.