Primary election still reverberates in Macomb

By: Robert Guttersohn | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 10, 2012

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Aug. 7 primary election results may be more than two months old, but events that took place leading up to it are still making news.

A lawsuit between the township clerk and a Macomb resident who claimed the clerk committed election fraud is still pending in Macomb County Circuit Court.

Simultaneously, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office is still deciding whether it will press charges against current Trustee Janet Dunn after Michigan State Police turned in its investigation of claims that she committed election fraud while running for the supervisor position in the Republican primary.

Dunn defeated incumbent Supervisor Mark Grabow and is the lone candidate running for supervisor in November.

About a month ago, Sgt. Joseph White from the state police turned his report to the prosecutor’s office.

White would not talk in detail about his investigation because of the pending charges but did say that turning in a report in no way implicates belief of wrongdoing.

“A complaint like this, we always turn in a report to the prosecutor,” White said.

It is unclear who filed the complaint, but there were several primary candidates publicly calling for the MSP to investigate, including Grabow.

Additionally, after the Aug. 8 Board of Trustees meeting, when asked by reporters to comment on his loss to Dunn, Grabow said, “Let’s just say, there’s probably more to come.”

But Grabow said recently that he did not know what exactly the state police was investigating and denied he filed the complaint.

“I did call for an independent investigation of these items back in July and to remove the clouds of question or doubt,” he said.

Thomas Christ, who ran and lost in the primary for treasurer, spoke at the Sept. 26 board meeting and asked Dunn to either prove her innocence or resign.

“If you are innocent, please fight this to the end, restore your good name and help lead this township,” Christ said.

If she couldn’t say that she had personally circulated each petition, Christ asked her to resign after winning the November election and hand the reins of the township back to Grabow.

During the trustees’ comments, Dunn did not respond to Christ, but Trustee Nancy Nevers said asking Dunn to resign was putting the “cart before the horse.”

“When an issue is in the prosecutor’s office, which we know it is, we all should wait until we see his determination,” Nevers said. “And I personally, at that point, believe Mrs. Dunn will be exonerated and then we can talk about what we will do next.”

White did not say what part of Dunn’s campaign he had investigated, but Township Clerk Michael Koehs said the state police served his office with a search warrant to obtain her nominating petitions.

“I have no idea what the Michigan State Police are investigating other than rumors,” Koehs said.

Leading to the primary, Macomb resident Mark Maiuri claimed Koehs also committed election fraud by accepting Dunn’s nominations.

At that time, Koehs was running against local business owner Cathy Imbronone for his seat and won. After the primary, Koehs filed a countersuit against Maiuri claiming he and other unnamed conspirators used the lawsuit to try to influence the election.

Maiuri denied the claim and the lawsuit is still in court.