Grabow pleads no contest to election law violation

By: Thomas Franz | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 5, 2016

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Court officials confirmed June 27 that Mark Grabow, a candidate for Macomb Township supervisor, pleaded no contest to a charge of election law, failure to perform duty.

Under Michigan statute 771.1, Grabow was placed on probation for 90 days, and the charge will be dismissed. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the typical penalty for the offense is a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

The plea took place at Shelby Township 41-A District Court.

Grabow declined to comment when asked for his reaction to the plea during a phone interview with the Macomb Township Chronicle June 27.

Grabow’s attorney had not responded to a message from the paper as of press time.

The former supervisor’s alleged wrongdoings were made public during a June 8 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting, where Planning Commissioner Aaron Tuckfield stated that he believed Grabow committed perjury while filing paperwork to run for the supervisor position.

“Mr. Grabow signed a statement under penalty of perjury that his committee to elect owed no fines or fees,” Tuckfield said during that meeting. “This was simply not true.”

Grabow filed April 19 to run for township supervisor, the same position he held from 2008 to 2012. County records show that he paid a late fee to the county worth $150 on April 26.

That $150 fine had been on the county books since Nov. 5, 2014. Records also show that Grabow paid fees totaling $550 on Oct. 23 of that year.

Grabow was also issued a waiver from the county on Nov. 5, 2014, that allowed him to not file any required campaign statements from that day forward as long as the waiver is maintained. It is maintained as long as a committee does not expect to expend or receive in excess of $1,000 for an election, county officials said.

With the waiver in hand and believing he had paid all of his remaining fees on Oct. 23, 2014, Grabow was unaware of the $150 fee that was produced on the same day he was given the waiver from the county, and he did not see the fee until one week after he filed for township supervisor this April.

“As far as I was aware at that point in time, since I received the waiver, everything had been cleared and done,” Grabow said shortly after the June 8 meeting. “The county has the information that shows there’s a waiver. They filed a late fee after they gave me the waiver.”

Tuckfield was the complaining witness in the matter who filed a witness statement with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department May 16.

“Regardless of the outcome, these documented facts can mean one of two things: Mr. Grabow either ignored late fines so long that he just plain forgot about them, or he deliberately committed perjury,” Tuckfield said June 8. “I feel that neither of these outcomes are what we want from a potential supervisor.”

Upon learning of the plea, Tuckfield said the charge against Grabow was “probably fair.”

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