FAQFAQ   SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlistRegisterRegister  ProfileProfile   Log in[ Log in ]  Flint Talk RSSFlint Talk RSS

»Home »Open Chat »Political Talk  »Flint Journal »Political Jokes »The Bob Leonard Show  

Flint Michigan online news magazine. We have lively web forums


FlintTalk.com Forum Index > Political Talk

Topic: Mays to Woodson- Election investigations!
Goto page 1, 2  Next
  Author    Post Post new topic Reply to topic
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Flint police still investigating mayoral recall four months after vote ...
www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2018/03/flint_mayoral_recall_criminal.html
Mar 14, 2018 - FLINT, MI - Four months after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver beat out over a dozen challengers to secure her job in the November 2017 recall election, the city's police are still investigating the methods used to gather signatures to oust the mayor from office. On Tuesday, March 13, Flint police confirmed that a .


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:22 am 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

FLINT NEWS
Flint police still investigating mayoral recall four months after vote
Updated Mar 14; Posted Mar 14




By Oona Goodin-Smith ogoodins@mlive.com
FLINT, MI - Four months after Flint Mayor Karen Weaver beat out over a dozen challengers to secure her job in the November 2017 recall election, the city's police are still investigating the methods used to gather signatures to oust the mayor from office.

On Tuesday, March 13, Flint police confirmed that a now eight-month-long investigation into whether petitioners tricked some residents into signing a petition to recall Weaver is still ongoing.

However, the details on the matter remain scant as police say discussing it may compromise the probe.

"This is still an ongoing investigation," said Det. Tyrone Booth in a statement. "Due to the ongoing investigation, we can not make any additional comments."

The City of Flint cited the ongoing investigation on March 8 when it denied a Freedom of Information Act request from MLive-The Flint Journal seeking details of the case.

In late July, the department submitted a request for an arrest warrant to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton against mayoral recall leader-turned-mayoral candidate Arthur Woodson but it was returned to the department without charges, Leyton previously said.

The prosecutor said he has not been presented with any current requests regarding the recall.




"We review every warrant that's presented to us," Leyton said. "Some are issued, some are not."

Flint police still investigating mayoral recall nearly month after vote
Flint police still investigating mayoral recall nearly month after vote

"We do not have a time frame on the completion of this investigation. (The) Flint Police Department takes whatever time necessary in every case to conduct a complete investigation with regard to all details,


Woodson, who remains active in Flint's political scene after losing his mayoral bid, called the long-standing criminal investigation "nothing more than an abuse of power."

"They haven't even spoken to me and I was the one getting the signatures," Woodson said. "OK, what can they investigate and why is taking that long? My freedoms are being restricted because they say 'we can issue a warrant tomorrow. By being under investigation, they can tap my phone ... this is political right here."

Woodson likened the investigation to an instance in March 2017 when a judge denied the mayor's request for a personal protection order against Woodson after he filed language to recall her from office.

The criminal investigation into the recall was initiated in July, about a month after efforts to collect petition signatures to recall Weaver began.

Police have previously cited the investigation as its basis for using the state's Law Enforcement Information Network to conduct a criminal background check on Woodson

Flint police didn't violate law running check on recall leader, MSP says
Flint police didn't violate law running check on recall leader, MSP says

The candidate is filing another complaint with state police claiming the Flint Police Department is conducting a fraudulent criminal investigation into him.


The Flint Police Department distributed a press release in July 2017 announcing an investigation into a criminal complaint claiming residents were tricked into signing the recall petitions. Officers were then spotted knocking on doors in the community to question voters on whether they signed to remove the mayor.

But, despite publicly announcing the probe, the city has repeatedly refused to release a copy of the criminal complaint to MLive-The Flint Journal - requested through the Freedom of Information Act - citing the open case's active investigation.


The police department's involvement in the mayoral recall election came into question in August after Weaver took the recall attempts to court, alleging "grossly illegal behavior by the petition circulators" in attempts to call off the election to oust her.

Claims of police influence, bribery raised in Flint mayor recall hearing
Claims of police influence, bribery raised in Flint mayor recall hearing

The judge questioned why police were involved in a civil case.


However, the tables were turned when four of the mayor's own witnesses testified they had been summoned to court by police officers through house visits and phone calls, raising concerns from the judge who questioned the department's involvement in a civil lawsuit.

Records obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal via Freedom of Information Act request also showed a Flint police officer using a check from Weaver's campaign funds to purchase copies of the recall petitions his department was actively investigating.

Flint cop was on city's dime when he bought recall petitions with mayor's check
Flint cop was on city's dime when he bought recall petitions with mayor's check

Despite a statement through city spokesperson Kristin Moore that Officer Kristopher Jones was "on (his) own time" when he purchased a stack of recall petitions at 1:11 p.m. on Friday, July 7 with the mayor's money, his time card shows otherwise.


In October, Fourth Ward City Councilwoman Kate Fields filed a complaint with the Michigan Bureau of Elections after Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson and off-duty officers were spotted going door-to-door in the city passing out literature supporting Weaver - something Johnson has repeatedly said he and his officers have "every right" to do.

Flint police have 'every right' to deliver mayor's lit door-to-door, chief says
Flint police have 'every right' to deliver mayor's lit door-to-door, chief says

"There's nothing negative [on the literature] about nobody, nobody in this city, and I'm going to be out there some more putting it out."


Later in the month, Michigan State Police questioned Flint police on running a LEIN criminal background check on Woodson. However, MSP later said Flint police's background check was legitimate, as Deputy Chief Devon Bernritter indicated the check was done as part of obtaining an arrest warrant for Woodson in the ongoing recall petition criminal investigation.

In a landslide victory, Weaver beat 17 opponents to keep her job on Nov. 7, pulling nearly 53 percent of the city's vote.


The recall looked to oust Weaver for agreeing to an emergency waste collection contract with Rizzo Environmental Services.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:26 am 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

FLINT NEWS
Claims of police influence, bribery raised in Flint mayor recall hearing
Updated Aug 29, 2017; Posted Aug 29, 2017

shares
By Oona Goodin-Smith ogoodins@mlive.com
FLINT, MI - The Flint Police Department's involvement in investigating the recall of Mayor Karen Weaver came under fire in court Tuesday as multiple petition signers told the judge they had been ordered by police to testify in the mayor's civil suit.

Two witnesses called to testify by Weaver's attorney also levied accusations of bribery against the mayor's administration.

After listening to testimony from four Flint voters who said they were directed in house visits and phone calls from police to come to court on Tuesday, Aug. 29, Genesee County Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut paused the mayor's attorney's exam to ask a question of his own.

"The statute says we authorize either the county sheriff or civil process servers to serve subpoenas, so I don't understand why Flint city police officers are involved in a civil suit - what's that all about?" Neithercut asked while leaning back in his chair and peering over his glasses at Weaver's attorney, Kendall Williams.

"I can't speak to that, judge," responded Williams.

"Wow," said Neithercut. "That may affect credibility issues on this case."

Judge questions Flint police involvement in mayoral recall
The explosive hearing marked the third day in court and second day of testimony in a lawsuit filed by the embattled Flint mayor, requesting Neithercut to order Genesee County Clerk John Gleason to call off the recall.

One by one, under oath, four of the mayor's witnesses testified they had been summoned to court by police after signing the recall petition, while two petition circulators claimed they were offered bribes by Weaver or City Administrator Sylvester Jones to stop collecting recall signatures.


After the hearing, Williams maintained that it was his understanding that the petition signers had volunteered to come to court on their own volition.



"It was on the complaint that was filed," Williams said after Friday's hearing. "The total number was correct, but the number of invalidated was incorrect."


On Friday, Williams told MLive-The Flint Journal that the signatories - who at the time he said were willing to testify that they were misled or duped into signing to recall Weaver - had no relation to the ongoing Flint police criminal investigation into the potentially fraudulent petitions.

"They've had people call and say, 'Hey, I didn't write my name on this,'" Williams previously said. "Not involved with (the police investigation) at all ... We've got a list of people. That's what we've been doing, frankly, since this was done, we've been trying to gather the evidence because I can't come to court with allegations, I have to have the evidence to support this was done."

However, all four of the petition signers who testified Tuesday said they were brought in by police.

According to testimony, two "undercover" Flint police officers knocked on resident Alisha Newsome's door, while officers called resident Tanisha Breedlove three times - twice last night and once this morning - to confirm her court appearance.


Newsome and Breedlove, along with Jequell Norfleet and Evelyn Spence - a mother and son duo who said they signed the recall petition outside a grocery store - were called to the stand in relation to a recall petition circulated by Lakeshia Williams.

Flint police officers have been making house calls to investigate the validity of voters' signatures on the petition to recall Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, some residents say.


Lakeshia Williams - who said she works as a paid petition circulator for the last decade - also took the witness stand Tuesday, testifying she had been told by City Administrator Sylvester Jones that he could help improve her housing situation in the Atherton East public housing apartments in exchange for discontinuing her circulation of the recall petitions.

Attorney Kendall Williams made clear that he subpoenaed Lakeshia Williams to come to court.

Lakeshia Williams said she met with Jones twice, as well as with Weaver and a Flint police officer dressed in civilian clothes to discuss the recall petitions.

"It took me a while to turn (the petitions) in, she had me feeling some type of way ... I felt kind of sorry for (Weaver)," Lakeshia Williams said.

Jones denied Lakeshia Williams' claims.

"That's just not true," Jones said of the circulator's story. "I was just trying to get her help, but I would never discriminate against someone if they were passing petitions ... that's a citizen. Our work should speak for itself."


Weaver - in a statement through city spokesperson Kristin Moore - echoed Jones' sentiment, calling the allegations "completely false."

"No one was ever told that," the mayor's statement said.

Before her testimony began, Lakeshia Williams immediately told Neithercut that she felt uncomfortable and did not want to proceed without a lawyer.

Neithercut questioned Kendall Williams whether the woman was under criminal investigation, which the attorney denied.

However, the petition circulator from Flint's south side previously told MLive-The Flint Journal she had been questioned by Flint Police Detective Tyrone Booth. She claims she was told to go to the department to file a complaint regarding officers knocking on doors in her apartment building in relation to the recall petitions.

But when Lakeshia Williams walked into the police station, she said she was immediately led upstairs by Booth, who began to read her her Miranda Rights.

"I was literally scared out of my mind," the circulator said. "(Booth) said, 'I can lock you up right now, I've got 48 affidavits right here where people signed and said it was you (who tricked them into signing the mayoral recall petition).' He said he could write a warrant for my arrest (that night) ... He was trying to get me to confess that I wrote in the dates, but like I said, I didn't ... I didn't mess with anybody, man."


Petition circulator Nancy Burgher also testified that Jones offered to help her make several damage claims on her husband's mobile home park "go away" while she was collecting signatures in front of City Hall.

"He said, 'C'mon, Nancy, you can stop this,'" Burgher said.

"I said, 'Sylvester, you're just giving people reason to sign' ... and then he scurried back into City Hall," Burgher said.

Jones was not immediately available for comment on Burgher's testimony.

This isn't the first time the police department's involvement in the mayoral recall efforts has come into question.

Records -- obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal via Freedom of Information Act request -- show Flint Police Officer Kristopher Jones as on the city's dime when he used a check from Weaver's campaign funds to purchase copies of the recall petitions his department is investigating.

Jones' time card showed that at the time of the purchase, he was conducting "surveillance at a location in the city of Flint" as a member of the city's Crime Area Target Team, a specialized unit created by Police Chief Tim Johnson to proactively deter violent crime.



Despite a statement through city spokesperson Kristin Moore that Officer Kristopher Jones was "on (his) own time" when he purchased a stack of recall petitions at 1:11 p.m. on Friday, July 7 with the mayor's money, his time card shows otherwise.


After distributing a press release stating that the department was investigating a formal criminal complaint alleging that residents were tricked into signing the recall petition against Weaver, police were spotted knocking on doors in the community to question voters on whether they signed to remove the mayor, a move Gleason testified he believes is "voter intimidation."

However, despite dispersing the release to local media containing allegations against petitioners, the city refused to release a copy of a criminal complaint to MLive-The Flint Journal - requested through the Freedom of Information Act - citing the open case's active investigation.


Flint police declined to comment on the Tuesday's court proceedings.

"The city of Flint Police Department has received several requests for a response to sworn testimony, given today in Circuit Court on a civil proceeding," Booth said in a statement issued Tuesday evening. "Due to the testimony given, at the open of business tomorrow, the Police Department will request transcripts from today's court proceedings.

"Receipt of this documentation will allow the police department to take a detailed look at the sworn statements and respond in the most appropriate manner."

Neithercut requested written witness summary documents from all attorneys involved in the lawsuit by noon on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Future court dates have not yet been scheduled in the matter.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:31 am 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I keep thinking that I've heard this song before. And indeed, voter fraud investigations were in the Journal in July of 1995 , when then Prosecutor Arthur Busch accused two employees of Mays and Goodman,a political consulting Firm, of forging signatures on absentee ballot requests in 1993 and 1994.

There was one count on Gary A. Cooper and four counts of election forgery on Tina Robinson, the first charges in an ongoing investigation. The charges were brought 13 days before the statute of limitations kicked in and Busch planned to bring additional charges in the case.

Political consultant Eric B. Mays admitted the two worked for him.Mays stated he trained them on the absentee ballot process but never on how to break the law.
Mays turned in 588 requests for absentee ballots for the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate primary in July of 1994. According to the Journal, Flint City Clerk Louis A. Hawkins rejected 451 ballots for issues like improper addresses, questionable signatures and signatures of people not registered to vote. There were 137 ballots issued but they only resulted in 16 votes being cast.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:32 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

After Hawkins requested a Flint Police investigation, a report was issued in March. The Police determined 25 ballots were forged and that included 6 requests for people who were dead. However, the Police were unable to determine the identities of the forgers.

Roert Pickell, a private investigator who previously worked as an investigator in the prosecutors office and later worked with the CIA, was hired by a private group to investigate. He tracked down prior employees of Mays and Goodman and obtaintained handwriting samples for comparison.

When Busch received this independent report, he continued the case with two investigators from his office.

The 1993 City Council race also involved irregularities and possible violations of the campaign finance law among city officeholders. After being named to the council, incumbent Catherine Zamora was challenged by Ed Taylor in a special election for the seat of Woodrow Stanley, who was elected mayor. Zamora lost as allegations of attempted extortion of a Chicago businessman erupted and Zamora filed a lawsuit claiming absentee ballot fraud


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:17 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:43 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In that election Mays asked for 37 spoiled ballots (13 were opened) to be replaced. The wards Mays and his team were working in were the 2nd, 6th and 7th. The statute of limitations ran out.

TWO ACCUSED OF FORGING ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUESTS , Laura Bishoff, July 21, 1995 A1
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:48 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Busch said he was close to a plea bargain with Cooper when Judge Hayman dismissed the case because the Prosecutor's office was not ready to proceed. The investigation continued except it was then looking at campaign finance violations.

Eric Mays alleged that Busch was just "playing politics with the issue and attempting to discredit his work in the black community.

The Busch investigation revolved around officeholder at that time and ormer candidates, "who were involved in this ballot-for-hire scheme".

Tina Robinson pled guilty to a reduced charge of "one count of making a false statement on an absentee ballot by signing someone's signature without their permission.". The charge was a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail.


ELECTION FRAUD PROBE NOT OVER, David V. Graham, August 4, 1995, B1
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:06 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

July 30, 2004 Absentee ballots Flood of applications deserves suspicions and scrutiny

Flint Journal Editorial A 14

"Flint's Eric Mays is once again making himself a nemesis of a city clerk at election time, turning in more than 1,000 absentee ballot applications in the final days before Tuesday's vote. The timing leaves scarcely a chance to check for the possibility of irregularities,even though signs of them are blatant.

Local officials, including City Clerk Inez brown,are well within the scope of their duties to supply scrutiny and skepticism

.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:40 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The sheer number is not the only troubling part of this event or even the most inviting of suspicion. Many of the absentee ballots Mays presented were signed months ago but have been held back. One Mays spokesperson said the lapse in time was to avoid confusion around the Mott Community College bond election. But that was held June 14. Where have the ballots been the intervening weeks?

Questions need to be asked as to whether Mays solicited them, because it is illegal for groups or individuals to organizationally solicit absentee ballot applications. That a full 1,000 voters or more would call on Mays and his associates to ask them to collect and turn in their ballots is a preposterous notion. Why not ask someone else?
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:53 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Brown also is concerned about whether associates working with Mays were paid, which would be illegal. Add to that the complaints she has gotten that people were impersonating city workers while soliciting applications.

If Mays were a grass-roots activist for voter turn out and nothing else, his enthusiasm might be more purely motivated. But as in the past years when Mays has gone hog wild on absentee balloting. this year he is tied to specific campaigns, namely a casino initiative and perhaps some candidates as well.

His personal political aspirations suggest he could be exploiting the absentee ballot to bring about results to his liking. If he can do so while still within the law, then let others take a lesson from his shrewd work.But with signs of possible illegalities popping up boldly, neither Brown nor Genesee County Prosecutor Arthur A. Busch should be giving him any free passes."
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:11 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

July 31, 2004 A-6 Flint journal

Absentee ballots may strap clerk Chris Machniak

The Journal reported how Mays appeared to be exploiting a little known section of the law about absentee ballots.

" Under state law the clerk is required to pick up absentee ballots if voters are unable to mail them or deliver them to City Hall personally or through a relative or someone with whom they live".

There was a deadline for requests, but the budget cutbacks on staff made it difficult to arrange a pickup especially if a last minute surge occurred.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:25 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

In the past only a few made this request and they were typically the disabled. However with only half of the 2,479 absentee ballots issued by the city being returned, it was reported that political activist Eric Mays was working to get the word out about that option.

Mays told the Journal that he was aware the law had the potential to overburden the Clerk's office and said he believed the state legislature could change regulations about who can handle the ballots. Mays said the clerk should allow his group to volunteer.

"But Brown said she would use only existing staff to ensure the integrity of the ballot. She pointed out Mays history of controversy with absentee ballots".

Mays has also been on the other side of the issue. In 2001, when he was advising then 1st Ward councilman Omar A. Sims, a lawsuit was filed by Sims that Darryl E Buchanan campaign volunteers assisted and turned in absentee ballots.

In 1993 the 2nd Ward candidate, Catherine Zamora, unsuccessfully challenged the absentee ballots for the victor, Ed Taylor, who was advised by Mays.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:45 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Mays claimed to have never broken the law, and he was the perfect one to help . He said his experience and intense past scrutiny made him the "guy you can trust".

Mays was publicly supporting Don Williamson for Mayor, however Williamson denied Mays was a part of his absentee ballot efforts.
Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:49 pm 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

1-16-2009

A formal complaint was made to the Michigan Secretary of State regarding the "Committee for a Better Flint" (CBF) regarding possible violations of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act and the laws governing 501(C)4 organizations. An IRS complaint was also filed.

Enclosed as documentation illustrated that CBF was a recall committee twas news stories and quotes from the leaders that clearly "a recall committee that blatantly and fraudulently organized as a Michigan Domestic Non-profit (ID #79456J) on 8/29/08.
Post Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:10 am 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Frank Kelley in Opinion #6591, June 29, 1989 wrote:

"Corruption and he appearance of corruption may occur as easily during the gathering of signatures on a reall petition as after the signatures are gathered".

"The process of gathering signatures on a recall petition is part of the process leading to recall elections. It is, as with recounts, often adversarial."
Post Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:14 am 
 View user's profile Send private message  Reply with quote  
  Display posts from previous:      
Post new topic Reply to topic

Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2  Next

Last Topic | Next Topic  >

Forum Rules:
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 

Flint Michigan online news magazine. We have lively web forums

Website Copyright 2010 Flint Talk.com
Contact Webmaster - FlintTalk.com >