Sep. 17, 2013 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
“That wasn’t even a lawsuit….” Richard Reaume
Plymouth Township Trustee Bob Doroshewitz had three proposed motions on the agenda at the last Board of Trustees meeting on Sep. 10.
Doroshewitz wanted the board to approve resolutions on ethics, improving communications and to clarify the limits of legal authority and responsibility of the township’s Supervisor, Clerk and Trustees. He submitted a request for board action and six specific questions on litigation.
One of Doroshewitz’s key elements for discussion centered on the question of who has township authority to initiate a new or join a lawsuit in progress as plaintiff without the consent of the full Board of Trustees and why must trustees have to learn of litigation only after reading about it in the newspaper.
“What we’re trying to avoid is learning about it (lawsuits) in the press or from a resident who is scanning the court documents,” Trustee Chuck Curmi contributed.
Township Supervisor Richard Reaume in an attempt to quiet and appease Doroshewitz and Curmi cited a recent City Detroit lawsuit filed against the township to answer the inquiry:
“For just the one…with the affidavit, you read about the affidavit in the paper, that wasn’t even a lawsuit, it was an affidavit…You’re saying why do I have to learn about it in the paper, well, we all learned about it in the paper…That wasn’t a lawsuit, nobody served us with a piece of paper.”
An integral part of that lawsuit was an Affidavit Affecting Real Property filed by City of Detroit Attorney Timothy Beckett regarding 190-acres of land at the former Detroit House of Corrections site on Five Mile Road.
The affidavit attests to the irregularity of the township claim to the property and the erroneous recording of the owner of record. The subject affidavit said, “The conveyance of the publicly owned property by the Wayne County Treasurer is void.”
The suit was filed April 5 and amended April 18 in Wayne County Circuit Court. A case evaluation and settlement conference scheduled for Jan. 2014 was cancelled last month by the City of Detroit due to the recent bankruptcy filing. A second case on the property is pending in the Michigan Court of Claims in Lansing.
Doroshewitz’s efforts to obtain answers and information on litigation limits failed, as did his motion to direct and authorize the township attorney to investigate and draft an “elected officials” ethics ordinance. His effort to direct the Supervisor to formulate a communication plan to inform the public of the entire capital costs and cost of ownership, plus other details of the new $1.9 million recreation plan including the park pavilion and amphitheater, was defeated by board executives Arnold, Conzelman, Edwards and Reaume.
|News Plymouth Michigan