At the September 23, 2014 Oakland Township Board meeting, a discussion took place regarding the process that has been used by Supervisor Gonser in nominating various Board and Commission members. Treasurer Langlois discovered that he may have exceeded his authority in making those recommendations. The Township Attorney made an inappropriate comment on a ‘live microphone’ when a legal review request was made.
Board member comments indicate they were upset with how Supervisor Gonser has handled the appointment of various Board and Commission members. Those concerns have previously been reported on this website. During the September 23rd BOT meeting, the Board discussed establishing a process to prevent similar behavior from occurring in the future.
Treasurer Langlois reviewed existing Township by-laws and ordinances to understand the procedures that already exist. In that review, she discovered that Supervisor Gosner may not have sole authority to nominate candidates for the various positions.
In light of Treasurer Langlois’ discovery, she requested a legal review of the appointment processes for each Township Board and Commission. When this request was made, Township Attorney, Dan Kelly, made an inappropriate comment caught on a ‘live microphone’. His comment was:
After making that comment, he quickly turned his microphone off. After it became clear that the Board expected a comment from the attorney, he began to speak into a ‘dead microphone’ and then turned it on. Here is his entire comment:
“A review of all the commissions and how they get appointed… that is pretty simple….. I think I can handle that one.”
Mr. Kelly then turned to the public and smiled appearing to be embarrassed by his earlier comment. Several of the Board members appeared to find Mr. Kelly’s response amusing.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Gonser’s behavior is consistent with his opinion that he is ‘omnipotent’. Fortunately, several Board members are beginning to challenge his belief and behavior. They may be beginning to follow the recommendation of one of our citizens regarding Supervisor Gonser –
“DON’T trust and MUST verify”.
Regarding the attorney’s inappropriate response to the legal review request, one can only question why he made that statement. Several options could be:
- He wanted Township Manager Capela to handle it.
- He is too busy.
- He is concerned that the outcome could upset Gonser and disrupt the apparent ‘tight’ relationship he has with Supervisor Gonser.
- He is disappointed that this request is not a ‘litigation’ issue for which he could charge the Township additional money. This request should be covered by his retainer.
We will never know why he said what he said. However, it is clear it was totally inappropriate and unprofessional, much like his handling of the DUI incident previously reported on this website.
Our Township deserves a more professional Legal Counsel.
Here is a video of the proceedings described above:
Here is a previously reported article about our Township Attorney’s inappropriate actions: