August 06, 2014 - By Dan Shriner
Orion Township resident Dave Duenow recently received an anonymous letter with no postmark that has led to some startling information about an Oakland County official, who is a former Orion Township supervisor.
The letter contained a printout from the Petoskey News dated July 5, 2013. The printout headline stated:
"Emmet County 90th District Court rulings and sentences" and was a roundup of several misdemeanor sentencings.
On page two was one that stated: "Matthew Alan Gibb, 45, of Lake Orion; open intoxicants in vehicle/driver; sentenced to $300 in fines and costs."
Gibb is the deputy Oakland County Executive under L. Brooks Patterson. He is a former Orion Township supervisor.
Duenow said the information received in the anonymous letter piqued his interest but what also seemed interesting to him was that the anonymous letter stated that township attorney Dan Kelly was a passenger in the car with Gibbs when he was stopped and arrested for drunken driving.
So, Duenow filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Michigan State Police, which was the agency whose troopers conducted the traffic stop. He also has filed FOIA requests with Emmet County to get a transcript of Gibb's court proceeding before District Judge James Erhart.
What he found was that Gibb was driving when he was stopped and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and having an open bottle of intoxicants between his legs. The arrest occurred near Gaylord and was made by Michigan State Troopers Michael Kloss and Michael Drogowski on June, 7, 2013.
According to court records, Gibb posted his $400 bond and was released.
The Review attempted to contact Gibbs but was told he would not be in the office until later in the week.
On June 26, 2013, Gibb was allowed to plead guilty to a charge of having open intoxicants in his car. The charges of operating under the influence of alcohol and careless driving were dismissed and the case was closed.
Duenow said he recently contacted one of the troopers involved in the arrest and the trooper told him he was angry about the plea and did not agree with the lenient deal given to Gibb.
But, one other part of the incident also has raised some questions. Township attorney Kelly represented Gibb in the case.
Duenow said he spoke to Judge Erhart who he said told him that he would have not allowed Kelly to represent Gibb if he had known that Kelly was in the car during the arrest.
Kelly admitted that the incident has caused some embarrassment. In a letter to Duenow, Kelly wrote:
"My representation of Mr. Gibb is public record and it involved nothing to do with the township.
"We are all capable of mistakes, myself included. I certainly wish that I had not allowed Mr. Gibb to drive that night but I did and it was a mistake. I am certainly glad no one was hurt," Kelly wrote.
The arrest occurred outside of a casino in the Petoskey area. Several local officials were in the area for a charity golf outing.
Kelly told The Review that he was not drinking alcohol there and that Gibb offered him and another official a ride back to their hotel. He said Gibb did not seem at all intoxicated but that the two had not been together prior to leaving the casino.
The two were in the car for only a few moments when they were stopped by state police — along with other vehicles — in a sobriety checkpoint just as they left the casino parking lot.