Judge dismisses Kabacinski election case

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published September 15, 2023

 Eddie Kabacinski

Eddie Kabacinski

WARREN — On Sept. 5, Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James M. Biernat Jr. resolved and closed the case Warren City Councilman Eddie Kabacinski filed against fellow candidates and election officials after the primary election last month.

Kabacinski, who came in fourth in the primary on Aug. 8, filed a lawsuit on Aug. 18 against the top-three finishers running for City Council in District 5: Henry Newnan, who came in first; Brittani Tringali, who finished second; and Jay Michael Jackson, the third-place finisher. Kabacinski wanted the candidates deemed ineligible and removed from the ballot. He also named City Clerk Sonja Buffa and members of the Warren Election Commission as defendants for not acting on information he had prior to the election and for allowing them on the ballot.

Claiming his fourth-place finish was a “fraud” against the people of Warren, Kabacinski wrote in his complaint, “(This) Constitutes a criminal fraud that has been perpetuated upon the good and decent people in the 5th Council District for the city of Warren by having ineligible and unqualified candidates voted upon the primary election ballot.”

From the online background checks Kabacinski claimed he conducted, he said neither Newnan nor Tringali were eligible to run due to their alleged lack of Warren residency. Jackson, according to Kabacinski, was ineligible because he is a current member of the Warren Crime Commission.

Both Newnan and Tringali maintained they are longtime Warren residents.

Jackson said he would have resigned from the Crime Commission if elected to the City Council, according to the requirements of the city charter.

According to the court, Kabacinski had a hearing scheduled before the Warren Election Commission that was canceled by a tribunal on May 26.

“Kabacinski did not attach a final decision or order to his complaint,” said the judge in his opinion and order.

Appearing in court by video, Kabacinski represented himself.  According to the judge, the laws Kabacinski cited to support his case were not applicable. This included housing law cases and laws governing actions seeking superintending control.

“Eddie had served me a case, but he had not notified me in any way, shape or form of when the hearing was, which is a procedural no-no in suing people,” said Newnan. “My lawyers and I were the only ones actually present (in the courtroom).”

The court listened to the Kabacinski case but found little legal merit.

“Kabacinski does not seek such relief; rather, he appears to be a candidate for reelection dissatisfied with the Aug. 9, 2023, primary election results,” said Biernat.

“Kabacinski is attempting to use a legal forum to address political grievances, and his complaint is therefore dismissed based on lack of compliance with the procedural and substantive rules under MCR (Michigan Court Rule) 3.302,” Biernat ruled.

Efforts made to contact Kabacinski were unsuccessful at press time.