County commissioner, local attorney look to get Bucci removed

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published May 9, 2018



MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A few weeks after local state representatives sent letters to Gov. Rick Snyder asking him to remove Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci from office, a local county official sent his own letter, while a local attorney is asking for the local authorities to get involved.

In mid-April, Republican State Reps. Steve Marino and Jeff Yaroch, who combined represent the entirety of Macomb Township, sent letters to Snyder asking for Bucci to be removed from office following an 18-count federal indictment against Bucci last November.

The indictment alleges criminal acts took place over a nine-year period that included kickbacks, embezzlement and bribery by Bucci in both his position as a trustee for Macomb Township and his job with the Macomb County Department of Public Works.

Now, Macomb County Commissioner Leon Drolet has sent his own letter to Snyder asking for Bucci’s removal. Drolet, who represents Macomb Township on the Board of Commissioners, focuses on Bucci having not attended a single board meeting since last November as reason for Snyder to remove him from office.

“Trustee Bucci is guilty of wilful neglect of duty for failing to appear at any Macomb Township board meetings since his indictment by the federal government on 18 criminal counts in November of 2017,” Drolet said. “Trustee Bucci’s decision to abdicate his primary duty as an elected township trustee — to represent Macomb Township residents by attending and voting at board meetings — constitutes a clear and unequivocal neglect of his duty.”

While other letters to Snyder regarding Bucci, including from the Macomb Township Board of Trustees itself, have focused on the criminal indictment, Drolet said state law states that even “wilful neglect of duty” is reason for Snyder to remove Bucci.

Macomb Township holds Board of Trustees meetings twice a month and Bucci is also a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Despite not attending any meetings, Bucci has continued to get his monthly salary and benefits.

The continued pay and benefits is the focus of attorney Frank Cusumano, Jr.’s email to Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith that was sent on April 30.

Cusumano, a Macomb Township resident, asks Wickersham to investigate if Bucci broke any local or state laws that could lead to further criminal charges filed. In the email, Cusumano not only attaches the federal criminal indictment, but also a letter from February 2017 that was sent from Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller to Bucci.

In Miller’s letter to Bucci, she alleges he used his position with the department as well as county resources for personal reasons, such as removing snow from his driveway and driving around his child, as well telling contractors who were owed money from the county that they were not getting paid until they spoke to former Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco and contributed to his fundraisers.

A due process hearing was scheduled for Feb. 15 of last year, but Bucci retired on Feb. 14. Wickersham said he did receive Cusumano’s letter and it is being looked into.

“I sent it to my investigators to review it and to speak with the prosecutor’s office to see if there was any violation of state law or local ordinance in context of that email,” Wickersham said.

Bucci is scheduled for a conference hearing on the federal indictment on May 9 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.