Source: Sherman Publications

Opinions
McAbee did not meet requirements

January 12, 2011

Dear Editor,

(In response to ‘Sign of the times? Lack of signature on oath challenged,’ The Citizen, Dec. 18, page 1):

The Michigan Constitution requires an oath of public office. It does not define in which manner that oath shall be taken (oral, written or both). It is left up to state or local offices to determine the means. I believe that the written oath carries as much importance as the oral. The secretary of state writes that after an oath is administered, verification is completed by the clerk attesting that you swore to the statement. The Michigan Townships Association Oath of Office states “The signed oath document must be filed with the township clerk.” The document is the same one used by the Village of Goodrich. Attorney Mullhaupt might want to reconsider her opinion “whether he signed the oath (document) would not matter.” “This does not trump state law—the oath was taken—the signing of the document was administrative.” It would appear that the townships think differently. Goodrich also requires that a written oath be given to the clerk within a determined period. McAbee did not meet that requirement. He did sign well after the time had expired. However, that document also would be invalid since the village charter requires the council shall, by resolution, extend the time in which such officer may qualify. This was not done. I would request that McAbee consider stepping down from a position that he currently does not legally hold. By not doing so would only result in lawsuits that the village would be drawn into.

R. Saroli