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 On Feb. 12, the oath of office was administered to new Trustee Charles Oliver, pictured on the right. Oliver has eight years of experience on the township Board of Review, has served for 15 years on the Planning Commission, and previously spent 16 years as a trustee.

On Feb. 12, the oath of office was administered to new Trustee Charles Oliver, pictured on the right. Oliver has eight years of experience on the township Board of Review, has served for 15 years on the Planning Commission, and previously spent 16 years as a trustee.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Memo indicates possible crimes involving Macomb Township Board of Trustees

Special meeting set for employee evaluation

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 17, 2020

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — After a series of personnel moves, Feb. 12 was the first meeting since Jan. 22 that the Macomb Township Board of Trustees held. In those three weeks, much has happened, including the departure of the deputy supervisor, the human resources director and legal counsel was placed on administrative leave, and a memo  was sent about possible crimes involving township officials.

Two agenda items from the Supervisor’s Office included discussion regarding the evaluation of employee No. 2205, Human Resources Director and Legal Counsel Tom Esordi, and an evaluation of reorganizing the human resources and general counsel needs for the township.

On Feb. 12, it was determined that both of those items should be removed from the agenda, and instead have a special meeting after press time Feb. 19 to discuss the matter.

Esordi was placed on administrative leave the week of Jan. 20.

A Jan. 22 confidential memorandum from Esordi to the township board states that while he was employed with Macomb Township, he became aware of “nonconfidential information relating to a possible crime or crimes involving a current board member or members.”

Esordi indicated that he reported the information to federal authorities.

“I am assuming the federal authorities are following up appropriately and am not at liberty to discuss the matter further,” the memo reads.

A Jan. 30 email from attorney Greg Meihn, who is serving as the township’s legal adviser, to Macomb Township Clerk Kristi Pozzi states that on Jan. 24, Pozzi informed Meihn that she was informed by Supervisor Janet Dunn of “events that happened a few years back that raised potential issues of conflict and potential violations of law.”

To begin the meeting, Dunn read a statement indicating that on the advice of her attorney, through her attorney, she has shared with the U.S. Attorney’s Office information related to matters that have been reported as under investigation by federal authorities.

“I am not at liberty to say anything further at the moment,” she said.

Dunn followed that up by reading a letter that proposed removing the two agenda items and having the special meeting, which will include “closed session for attorney-client confidential legal written opinion,” discussion on whether or not there is just cause to discipline Esordi, and to evaluate and consider the reorganization, which would eliminate the combined position of human resources director/general counsel.

Treasurer Karen Goodhue asked Dunn which attorney wrote the letter, to which she said she wasn’t sure.

“It was laying on my chair when I got here this evening,” Dunn said, adding that she assumed it was Meihn.

In the email, Meihn said that Pozzi requested his advice as to her obligation regarding the information. A FOIA request revealed that Pozzi’s request was conveyed verbally to Meihn.

After reviewing Macomb Township’s ethics ordinance, which took effect in November, and several state statutes, Meihn believed that Pozzi had a duty to report the information to the board, or an alternative would be for Dunn to self-report either to the Michigan State Police or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Once the township supervisor fulfills the responsibility of self-reporting, you have met your obligation,” the emails reads.

During the trustees’ comments, Trustee Timothy Bussineau said he often uses the term “moving forward” in relation to the culture at Township Hall, and connecting the dots regarding corruption information recently released.

“Some residents feel we have not moved forward quickly enough away from all of this, and some feel like we have not moved forward at all,” he said. “I believe we have moved forward and are still moving forward.”

Also at the meeting, new Trustee Charles Oliver was sworn in; an employment offer was extended to Mickey Todd, the township’s elections supervisor, for the position of elections manager; and an employment offer was extended to Josh Bocks to be the township’s planning director.

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