Hearing to be held on removing Bucci from zoning board

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 6, 2018



MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A public hearing will be held during the June 13 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting on whether Trustee Dino Bucci will be removed from the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

ZBA Chairperson Aaron Tuckfield wrote a letter to Supervisor Janet Dunn and the board requesting the hearing because Bucci has not attended a ZBA meeting since November, when he was indicted on 18 criminal charges, including embezzlement in the township.

In the letter, Tuckfield said state law dictates that a ZBA member can be removed for “misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in office,” and a public hearing must be held. Dunn said the person in question must also miss three consecutive meetings before any action can be taken.

According to Tuckfield, Bucci did not attend the meetings on Jan. 9, March 13 or May 3, and did not provide any acceptable reason for why he was not in attendance. Bucci has also not been present at a Board of Trustees meeting since being indicted in mid-November.

At the first Board of Trustees meeting following the indictment, Dunn was authorized by the board to send Bucci a letter asking him to resign from the ZBA. He never responded to the letter, Dunn said.

Tuckfield said if Bucci is removed, his spot should be filled as quick as possible to allow the ZBA to continue to do its job.

“I further respectfully request that as soon as possible after the removal of Mr. Bucci, that you appoint another individual to fill the resulting vacancy, so that the ZBA can resume providing an essential function of municipal government with a full complement of members,” Tuckfield wrote in his letter.

The 18 criminal charges Bucci was indicted on allegedly took place over a nine-year period and included kickbacks, embezzlement and bribery in both his position as a trustee and with the Macomb County Department of Public Works.

Bucci is accused of embezzling and conspiring to embezzle nearly $100,000 from Macomb Township in connection with pavement work that was done on the township hall and fire station parking lots.

He is also accused of using county-paid officials for personal tasks, such as plowing his driveway before county-owned property, moving an associate’s girlfriend to Ohio and placing campaign signs.

Dunn said they waited so long to hold the public hearing for Bucci’s removal from the ZBA because that board does not meet often and they had to get to three meetings. 

“I would certainly want a full board if I were to appear before the board, and I would want everybody there,” Dunn said. “Being that (Bucci) has chosen not to attend meetings, I think that indicates that he doesn’t seem to feel it is his duty to attend. So we have to take some steps.”

Michigan Election Law dictates that only the governor can remove an elected township officer, so Dunn has also sent a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder asking him to remove Bucci. That has been followed up on with letters sent by Trustee Tim Bussineau, County Commissioner Leon Drolet and two local state representatives.

A recall petition has also been approved by Macomb County that aims to have a recall vote for Bucci on the November election.

Bucci is scheduled to have a final pretrial hearing on Sept. 5 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, with a jury trial currently scheduled for Oct. 2.