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Shiawassee County commissioners call for chairman to resign over COVID-19 bonuses

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Two Shiawassee County commissioners are calling for board chairman and commissioner Jeremy Root to step down.

It’s all over controversy on alleged Open Meetings Act violations and a decision to pay himself and other commissioners tens of thousands of dollars in American Rescue Plan funding.

Commissioners Greg Brodeur and Marlene Webster say the entire situation is proof drastic measures need to be taken to make sure the county has effective leadership. Brodeur said he spoke with Root about his concerns in a conversation he described as very combative.

”My reaction has been one of upset and anger. And the more I talk to people about it, the more upset and angry I become,” Brodeur said.

He’s been a commissioner for seven months, but he wasn’t at the July 15 meeting where the COVID-19 bonuses were approved. Brodeur said he’s gathered plenty of input from other commissioners on what happened during that meeting.

“It seems to me that these bonuses were not only poorly communicated to us, but I feel they were absolutely hidden from us -- certainly from myself and Commissioner Webster,” Brodeur said.

He is calling for Root to step down and called him last night to tell him he should resign.

“He said, ‘It’s not my responsibility to let you all know of every detail’ and I said, ‘Yeah, it is,’” Brodeur said.

Root got a $25,000 bonus while others got $10,000 and $5,000 payments from American Rescue Plan funding.

“This I think is time -- and probably past time -- for us to go in a new direction in leadership with our board,” Webster said.

She wants to see leadership that accepts input from the entire community.

“Leadership that makes sure that everyone who serves together on the board of commissioners gets the same information,” Webster said.

Root and the other Shiawassee County commissioners did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

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