Kalkaska Saga Continues

We had mentioned before that the Kalkaska County Prosecutor was himself facing a recall after attempting to get four of the commissioners on recall ballots through some arrangement with the local Democrat party.  The recall, which is actually being brought about for a number of other reasons has not deterred the Prosecutor, according to sources in Kalkaska County as the continued efforts to now remove at least the county commission chair Mike Cox.

From an email MTTM received yesterday:

We are well beyond the point of fear and intimidation…we are not going away because someone in County government does not like the fact that we challenge them to be honest about how they operate…we will be documenting any and all incidents of intimidation or harassment coming from public officials, directly or indirectly…this is NOT what “public servants” receive “public” tax dollars to do…

Many questions have been asked about the actions of the Prosecutor’s office in specific court cases, the one issue cited and referenced in the current recall effort is simply one of many…his reputation in the County and Village is not what one would expect of a person representing and working “for the people”…his defiance of duly elected representatives of Kalkaska is the issue at hand with the Tea Party, not any individual incident…transparency in government is a requirement of public officials, and it is time Mr. Donnelly be reminded of that fact, and who it is he REALLY works for…

By the way, the recall for Cox was refiled…hearing is 1 pm tomorrow…

Cox’s recall might be the focus for Donnelly and company, given the complaints filed by the county commission chair with regard to the prosecutors perceived retribution.  From the first, a letter to AG Bill Schuette:

“Find enclosed copies of a letter to the Attorney Grievance Commission, transcript of Kalkaska County Prosecutor’s remarks and my response to those remarks. It appears that Prosecutor Donnelly is trying to interfere with the Kalkaska County BOC and their execution of their statutory duties, adopting and overseeing a balanced budget. Since Mr. Donnelly’s actions are beyond the scope of his office, County Prosecutor, and his actions interfere unjustly with the legislative branch of County government, I am requesting that you involve your office in this matter and at a minimum reprimand Mr. Donnelly for his actions.”

The question of propriety being asked in the text of the actual grievance to the commission:

10-3-2011
Dear Attorney Grievance Commission:
I am writing to you about Kalkaska County Prosecutor, Brian Donnelly’s recent behavior. Since The Kalkaska County BOC hired John Axe of Axe and Ecklund to review the County budget and departmental staffing levels, Brian Donnelly has leveled all manner of false or misleading accusations against a majority of the BOC. He has done this in every public forum that will give him a hearing. He has also threatened to recall a majority of the BOC and just this morning the Clerk’s office phoned to say that recall petition language had been submitted. I am enclosing a transcript prepared by the County Clerk of Brian Donnelly’s remarks at a BOC meeting as well as a copy of my response to some of his comments.
I believe that Brian Donnelly’s behavior is more than a disagreement among elected officials. He is trying to control the BOC through bullying and intimidation and has been overheard to state the same. What appears to be happening is that Donnelly is attempting to forestall the BOC from cutting his budget in the next fiscal year which may be indicated in the report currently being prepared by Axe and Ecklund. As a County Prosecutor I believe that Brian Donnelly has overstepped his bounds in trying to thwart the BOC from executing their statutory duties of preparing and overseeing a balanced budget. I am requesting that you accept this letter as a formal complaint and investigate the matter at your earliest convenience.

Michael Cox
Chairman, Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners

A duplicate was apparently sent to the governor’s office as well.

Several reports from Kalkaska county residents who are close to the issue  feel there is an effort to silence them through intimidation that runs not only from the prosecutor’s office but possibly also through two other agencies which have finances overseen by the county commission; The Sheriff’s office and a Judge.

Paranoia?  When one considers the level of political power assumed through such positions, it is not unreasonable for anyone on either side of the issue to be looking over their shoulder repeatedly.

Will update as more information becomes available.

1 comment for “Kalkaska Saga Continues

  1. Reader
    October 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    The Board of Commissioners could petition the governor to remove the prosecuting attorney, under state law and the state constitution. In the alternative, the Board of Commissioners could remove the prosecuting attorney if he fails to report to them on his office’s budget, per state law.

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