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Reader wants look into clerk offer

February 23, 2011 - Dear Editor,

Independence Township Treasurer Curt Carson should resign because of his efforts to use taxpayer funds to influence the vote of another elected township official.

According to now public information, on Feb. 16, Carson met with clerk candidate Joan Patterson at Mrs. Patterson's home. Carson unexpectedly brought clerk candidate Joan McCrary along, and offered Patterson the currently-filled position of deputy clerk under McCrary if she withdrew her name from consideration.

The hope by Carson and McCrary appears to be that township Trustee Larry Rosso would vote for McCrary to be clerk if he knew Patterson, his first choice, would become deputy clerk. Carson and McCrary said Patterson could run for clerk after McCrary retired, supposedly in 2012.

Once Patterson wisely exposed this backroom deal at the Feb. 17 meeting, Carson claimed he was just trying to negotiate a "compromise," even though Carson admitted publicly he never discussed with Rosso what he thought of his and McCrary's job offer to Patterson.

At the Feb. 17 meeting, Deputy Clerk Paula Heenan was visibly upset as she learned that her position had been offered by Carson and McCrary to Patterson. Later Heenan received a standing ovation from the crowd as she quitely responded that she just wanted to continue as deputy clerk.

There are serious legal issues involved when one elected official, Carson, along with a former elected official, McCrary, offers public funds in the form of job compensation to another elected official, Patterson, to influence the vote of still another elected official, Rosso.

There should be no place in Independence Township government for even the hint of political corruption. What a shame that Joan McCrary would jeopordize her reputation by participating in "McCarsongate."

Curt Carson should resign and the Township Board should immediately request an investigation to determine if any laws were broken by the actions of Carson and McCrary.

Henry S. Woloson

Independence Township

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