Supervisor’s court date adjourned for six to eight weeks

By: Jeremy Selweski | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 11, 2013

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A court proceeding in the election fraud case against Township Supervisor Janet Dunn was adjourned on July 10.

Dunn had been scheduled to appear at 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights for an arraignment and pretrial on one count of nominating/initiative petitions — false statements/circulation, a 93-day misdemeanor. The charge alleges that the supervisor violated Michigan election laws during her 2012 campaign.

No reason was given for the adjournment of Dunn’s case, according to a court clerk. The request to adjourn came from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. A new court date has not yet been scheduled, but the clerk indicated that one would be chosen within six to eight weeks.

Dunn could not be reached for comment at press time. The clerk said that she has not yet retained an attorney.

The supervisor is accused of breaking a state election law that requires individuals circulating petitions for political candidates to authenticate them with their signature. A Michigan State Police investigation that was launched last fall revealed evidence that Dunn had signed her name to petitions that she did not personally circulate.

Dunn will be charged at the 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights, rather than the one in Shelby Township, because Judge Douglas Shepherd recused himself from the case. As a Macomb Township resident, Dunn would ordinarily appear in Shelby district court.

Last July, a lawsuit alleging election fraud on the part of Dunn, Township Clerk Michael Koehs and Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh was filed in Macomb County Circuit Court by township resident Mark Maiuri. Maiuri claimed, among other things, that Dunn’s nominating petitions for supervisor contained more than 50 invalid signatures.

In response, Koehs filed a countersuit in August that charged Maiuri with making false accusations in order to influence the township’s primary elections. It alleged that Maiuri and other unnamed individuals attempted to undermine the election process by drumming up knowingly false accusations and damaging the reputation of the clerk’s office.

Koehs’ lawsuit was filed just two days after Dunn defeated former Township Supervisor Mark Grabow and challenger Charles Missig in the Republican primary. Dunn later ran unopposed in the November general election.