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Judge dismisses Wagner's bid stop recall



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June 16, 2010 - Independence Township Supervisor Dave Wagner's lawsuit against the Oakland County Election Commission to stop the recall effort was dismissed.

Wagner's attorney Larry Barnett filed a complaint with the Oakland County Circuit Court on July 29, 2009. Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen A. O'Brien made the ruling on June 2.

The complaint consisted of two different counts. Count I: "Erroneous Determination Claim" and County II: "Unconstitutionality of statute claim. On Feb. 4 Barnett filed an amended complaint to include a third count "recall petition was not based on plaintiff's officer's (Wagner) conduct during his current term of office.

The commission voted 3-0, Jan. 21, to approve petition language calling for Wagner's recall due to bonus payments made to an employee, car allowance increases, and money spent on architectural work for a new police substation.

Citizens Against Independence Township Waste (CAITW) member Henry Woloson called Wagner suit against the county and petition drive "unfortunate."

"We are pleased the judge ruled (without the need for a trial) that Mr. Wagner's claim had no merit that the State recall law was unconstitutional," Woloson said.

"Those of us supporting the recall simply want township voters to have the opportunity to decide if Mr. Wagner's mismanagement warrants his removal from office," he said. "Based on behavior, like his suing Oakland County in a now dismissed lawsuit, his concern about the outcome must be why Mr. Wagner is so opposed to allowing Township voters to decide his fate."

Wagner did not return phone calls for comment.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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