2015-06-17 / Front Page

Recall petition for Greenleaf clerk OK’d

BY ERIC LEVINE 810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com

Lori Mazure Lori Mazure The Greenleaf Township trustee who is likely to face a recall can start his own recall drive against the township clerk.

The Sanilac County Election Commission, on June 10, approved the wording for the petition to recall Lori Mazure, the township clerk.

Mazure has until June 20 to appeal the decision to Sanilac County Circuit Court.

The petition was filed by Randy Shuette, who may have to defend his own elected seat if the election commission approves recall language against him.

Petitioner Christina Gibbard is likely to gain the commission’s approval, since the identical wording is part of another petition that she successfully filed against township Trustee Ken Brown.

The commission OK’d the Brown petition on June 5, the same day it rejected Gibbard’s petition against Schuette because one of her allegations was an opinion, not a fact.

Gibbard wants Shuette to lose his seat because he allegedly “failed in his duties as Trustee by supporting a violation of the open meetings act when he voted to purchase a building for the township in the amount of $230,000.”

The clarity hearing on the recall wording is scheduled for June 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the 73rd District Courtroom in Sandusky.

Meanwhile, Mazure was unsuccessful last week in convincing the election commission to reject the recall wording against her.

The petition alleges Mazure “abused her office by releasing documents of the zoning administrator without his consent. The Administrator was involved in a legal matter with a local business and legal counsel was representing both parties. The actions were intended for personal gain because the documents were used in the campaign of Rodney Mazure. Prosecutor James Young has the opinion that there is grounds for a civil lawsuit.”

Mazure argued the allegations were not factual, were not clear, and included opinion.

She said she had written permission from the business to release the documents, and she said there was no legal issue.

Mazure also read a letter she received from the prosecutor stating neither he nor his staff had issued an opinion regarding grounds for a civil lawsuit.

In his comments to the commission, Schuette explained he received the information about the prosecutor’s opinion from Sanilac County Detective Mark Ruggles. He said Ruggles told him that Young believed the release of the documents could be grounds for civil but not criminal action.

The bottom line for the election commission, though, was not if Schuette’s allegations were true.

In its written decision about the petition, the commission stated: “’Factual’ does not mean ‘truthful.’ The Election Commission determines that the reasons for recall alleged in the petition are factual…and of sufficient clarity to enable the official whose recall is sought and the electors to identify the course of conduct that is the basis for the recall…An allegation of fact may be true or false, and the test employed by the Election Commission is whether the allegation states facts so that the responding official may defend.”

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