Source: Sherman Publications

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Village, officials respond to Paad’s lawsuit

by Trevor Keiser

January 23, 2013

The Village of Oxford, Councilwoman Maureen Helmuth and Manager Joe Young are denying the accusations made by former Deputy Clerk Marion Patricia Paad in her civil lawsuit against them.

In their 10-page written answer to Paad's complaint, most of the allegations were repeatedly called "untrue."

The three defendants are also asserting that "all or a portion of" Paad's claims are barred by the doctrine of governmental immunity and that "any and all injuries" she suffered were due to her own "negligence and/or illegal activities."

Attorney Audrey Forbush, who's with the law firm Plunkett Cooney and is representing all three defendants, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Paad, who was terminated from her village position in March 2011, is suing the municipality, Helmuth and Young in U.S. District Court for violations of her constitutional rights and malicious prosecution.

She's seeking money damages against all three defendants "for purposeful discrimination and/or retaliation," which she claims took the form of losing her job and standing trial for criminal charges that she was innocent of.

Flint attorney Tom R. Pabst, who's representing Paad, believes his client will be awarded a seven-figure sum.

Paad's suit claims that "throughout her tenure" working for the village, she "raised concerns" involving "improper spending/use of taxpayers' money, and/or volunteers stealing taxpayers' money" to village officials, management and employees.

Because she did this, Paad's suit alleges she found herself facing "false and baseless" charges of embezzlement that "were made to try to cover up (the) defendants' unlawful conduct."

Paad was accused of stealing more than $3,300 in property tax payments made by three village residents in 2006.

She was also charged with embezzling almost $600 worth of village police department funds in 2010.

In April 2012, an Oakland County Circuit Court jury found Paad not guilty of five felony counts of embezzlement by a public official over $50. Each count was punishable by up to 10 years in prison.