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© 2018 by Downtown Publications, Inc.

Birmingham, Michigan

Oakland County political gossip

CROSSING T & DOTTING I

May 7, 2019

 

Dave Woodward

 

It pays to do your homework. That's what Oakland County Commission Board Chair Dave Woodward (D-Royal Oak) is discovering, after confirming following the announcement by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson that he is battling pancreatic cancer, that if necessary, he, Woodward, could be appointed to the vacancy by his fellow commissioners because he could vote for himself and break the 10-10 tie – the Democrats currently have a narrow 11-10 majority on the board of commissioners for the first time in over four decades. Turns out, there is state law specifically prohibiting that from happening. The Board of Commission Act applies to all county commissions in Michigan, and states that a sitting county board commissioner cannot be appointed to another county position, and that it's a misdemeanor to be appointed. Not only that, any commissioner who votes for the appointment can be charged with a misdemeanor. “It's a conflict of interest statute designed to avoid cronyism,” said a lawyer who brought it to the attention of Downtown. What if Woodward, who intends to run for county exec in 2020, resigns in order to be appointed? “If he resigns he gives up a Democratic majority on the commission that Democrats have fought 42 years for,” said one county Dem. “He has egg on his face if he does resign.”

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