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Secretary of State Sues Troy, Says 'State Law Requires An Election'

Secretary of Sate Ruth Johnson filed a lawsuit Friday against the Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner, saying Troy residents "have the right to choose the city's mayor in February."

LANSING, Mich. — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a joint statement Friday afternoon on the lawsuit they filed against Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court.

In the lawsuit, they claim the City has violated state law by not calling a special election on in February and instead choosing to follow City Charter by appointing Dane Slater mayor until the November 2013 city election.

“I’m disappointed that city officials have chosen to go this route,” Johnson said in a press release Friday evening. “Unfortunately, we now must seek a legal remedy to uphold state election and recall law. Our position all along has been that state law requires an election in this situation. Troy residents have the right to choose the city’s mayor in February, and the attorney general and I will see that that happens.”

“As Michigan Attorney General, my job is to enforce the law,” Schuette said in the press release. “I am fully supportive of Secretary of State Johnson’s efforts as Michigan’s chief elections officer and agree that the law is straightforward.  A February election is required.”

"The City is not claiming that our Charter trumps state law," Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm said Thursday. "Instead, since there are two conflicting State Statutes, the City is obligated to follow the path that allows us to uphold both state law and our charter."

The city has been locked in a battle with the Michigan Secretary of State's office since Council voted on Nov. 21 not to seek further advice from the state regarding the process to replace Daniels, who was recalled on Nov. 6. Both the City of Troy and the Secretary of State were also sued Thursday by political activist Robert Davis and Citizens United Against Corrupt Government (see attached PDF file).

To view the lawsuit and previous correspondence between the city and the state, please see the attached PDF files.

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Erin December 04, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Haulin' - still a bit confused why you seem upset. I so often agree with your comments. I apologize if I said something to offend you. My point is not that Snyder is perfect, no legislator (or person, myself included) is. However, in my capacity as one of Schuette's bosses (aka taxpayer who pays his salary), I feel it well within my purview to complain when I feel he's not fulfilling his job description properly. With his concentration on publicity and taking on symbolic cases that drive his party's, or his, political agenda, he's taking taxpayer time and money away from the more urgent and substantive issues for our citizens (aka, his bosses). As a result, we end up as de facto campaign contributors for his future run(s). I do not appreciate that. And there are many other citizens, including our Governor, who feel the same. There's still time for Schuette to return focus on protecting the rights of citizens, and what's best for Michigan moving forward. Ultimately, that is what will not only serve Michigan best, but him as well, if he has future plans.
Haulin T Male December 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I am not up set, not would I get so over some thing like this. I way to be, is the way to be......... same with this, The Voters voted, in, voters voted out .......... ley no person appoint....... no matter the cost let the Residents Vote, some one in. no matter the cost, besides 100k? at 100.00 a day for precinct worker. does that come to 100K
Daffy Noodnicks December 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I find it interesting but not surprising that the SOS who defied the law around ballot checkboxes for partisan political nonsense, and the AG who refuses to investigate the Speaker of the House for actual election fraud is choosing to become involved in this issue. These are individuals who put clearly partisan politics above the law. Our city attorney has only one interest, serving her client, the citizens of Troy. This frivolous partisan game should be summarily thrown out of court.
ann galen December 04, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The residents must vote on it. Any appointee, should be recalled.
Daffy Noodnicks December 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Why don't you get those petitions going Ann? Ot is a realy hard thing to successfully achieve a recall so you had bettercget started.Since you are so sure about what should happen and who should do what. Oh that's right you actually have to be a Troy voter to do that. Thanks so much for telling those of us who actually live here and vote here what to do.

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