Issue surrounding Macomb Township trustee inspires legislation
State Reps. Jeff Yaroch and Steve Marino have introduced a plan requiring the governor’s office to promptly make a determination when anyone makes a formal request for the removal of an elected official due to gross neglect of duty or corrupt conduct in office.
The legislators, who each represent a portion of Macomb Township in the Michigan House, crafted the legislation because Macomb Township officials still have not received a determination based on a letter they sent in January calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to exercise his authority to remove Macomb Township Trustee Dino Bucci from office.
“This situation has gone on far too long,” Yaroch said. “If the governor won’t take action to remove Bucci, he at least has a duty to tell them that he will not be taking action. Macomb Township residents deserve better than lip service. When the governor was the CEO of Gateway, I doubt he would have kept an employee who was no call/no show for 11 months.”
Bucci was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017 on 18 counts of conspiracy, bribery, embezzlement, extortion, mail fraud and money laundering. The charges are in connection with public contracts in Macomb Township and the Macomb County Department of Public Works, where he worked until 2017. Bucci has not appeared at a single Macomb Township Board meeting since his indictment, but continues to collect a salary.
“The serious criminal allegations against Bucci, combined with his failure to perform his duties, have caused him to lose the trust and confidence of his colleagues and the public,” Marino said. “I have too much respect for the hardworking taxpayers of Macomb Township to let a corrupt politician continue to collect a salary while shirking all of his responsibilities. It’s time for Bucci to go so Macomb Township can restore the governance the public deserves and the community can begin to heal.”
Under the new legislation, if a Michigan resident submits a written request for the removal of an elected official to the governor, the governor would have 60 days to review the request and notify the requester of his or her determination.
“This solution would establish a clear process any citizen could utilize to draw the governor’s attention to cases of corruption or gross neglect of duty,” Yaroch said. “We owe it to the people we serve to give them an answer.”
The measure, House Bill 6437, was referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee for consideration.