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Riley Township recall, Michigan, 2010

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Five Township board members are facing a recall effort in Riley Township, Michigan. Targeted officials include: township trustee Linda Belesky, clerk Linda Waddy, treasurer Nancy Dudek, Supervisor Dave Rushing and Trustee Linda Hazelton. A recall election has been tentatively scheduled for February 23, 2010.[1].

An initial recall petition naming three members of the board was filed by local resident Ronald Gauthier on July 9, 2009. Signatures were submitted on November 6, 2009.[2]

Supervisor Dave Rushing and Trustee Linda Hazelton were added to the list of recall targets in September in a petition filed by Riley Township resident John Rhodes.[1]

Recall language

The official language is a recall "for the irresponsible use of Riley Township funds in regards to attorney fees incurred, resulting in reduced services for the Fiscal Year 2009/2010."[3]

Reasons for the recall

According to reports, the three township board members are facing a recall because of the amount of town funds spent on lawyer fees. The board spent approximately $70,000 in lawyer fees, according to township supervisor David Rushing, in a legal dispute against an adult book store. The case ended in May 2009.[3]

Dudek's response to recall

In a statement released December 3, 2009, township treasurer Nancy Dudek said,"What is called 'irresponsible use of funds' refers to a lawsuit approved by all five members of the Riley Township Board...This lawsuit was to protect all the property owners in Riley, their values and to maintain the integrity of our Township ordinances. Only three of the board members are being singled out." Dudek called the recall a "political ploy orchestrated by a few disgruntled citizens."[4]

Path to the ballot

According to officials in order to force a recall election, supporters were required to collect and submit a minimum of 356 (or 25% of township voters who cast a ballot in the 2008 Michigan Gubernatorial election) valid signatures within 90 days of collecting the first signature.[5]

See also