Proposed recall petition language targeting West Bloomfield Township Trustee Larry Brown has been filed with the Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office.
The petition language was submitted by township resident Betty Hyman on Jan. 5 and a hearing to evaluate the petition has been scheduled for today, Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Hyman is asking for a recall, citing Brown’s decision in 2009 to have his $125 meeting stipend diverted to a township Water and Sewer Benevolent Fund for needy families, claiming that he has not paid taxes on his 2009 earnings as a trustee.
“As of Jan. 15 every year, I pay taxes in West Bloomfield and Mr. Brown should pay taxes on his income,” Hyman said. “I’ve also been paying my count of house taxes in February, which also pays for Mr. Brown’s salary. Four board members can’t absolve him of it.”
Township Supervisor Michelle Economou Ureste and Trustee Steve Kaplan recently brought the issue forward as part of a declaratory judgment suit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court, which is awaiting a final order.
But, at the Monday, Jan. 10 township board meeting, the board voted 5-2 to allow Brown and Trustees Howard Rosenberg and Gene Farber to continue to have all or part of their meeting stipends allocated to the fund.
Hyman also cited Brown’s vote in November 2009 in favor of a sanitary sewer lining project contract with Liquiforce Services (USA), which has an office located in Romulus but is based in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, stating in her recall petition that the contract would have been subsidized with federal stimulus funds.
Hyman also cited Brown’s lawsuit last year against the West Bloomfield Police Department regarding a prior Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on an investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
The judge dismissed that suit because the police department couldn’t be sued as a legal entity.
Both the West Bloomfield Police and the Oakland County Sheriff’s departments previously investigated Brown’s business relationship with Dan Garman, an outside contractor for Richfield Equities, after Brown voted for a single-source waste hauling contract with Richfield in December 2010 after he disclosed the relationship with Garman.
The investigation determined there was nothing inappropriate. No warrants or charges were issued and the case was closed on March 16, 2010.
When reached, Brown didn’t have any comments regarding the new recall drive.
If the recall petition language is approved, Hyman will have 180 days to circulate recall petitions and collect 6,654 registered voters’ signatures, or 25 percent of the township votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, in order to seek Brown’s recall on a township ballot.
This comes after township resident Ray Jarjis Kasmikhia filed a recall petition in June 2010. That petition was rejected by county officials because the recall petition language wasn’t clear.