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Brighton Township Supervisor Calls Challenger's Mailings 'Baseless and Untrue'

Independent Township Supervisor candidate John Ewing recently sent out mailings to township residents alleging to corruption in Township Hall.

Independent candidate John Ewing recently sent out mailings to Brighton Township residents alleging corruption and illegal activities in the current Township Board of Trustees, specifically targeting current Township Supervisor Tom Murphy.

The mailings say, "We will stamp out Murphy corruption," and list alleged examples of corruption with illegal sewer billings, tax evasion with the new Michigan State Police building next door to Township Hall and favor dealing with gravel pit miners.

Murphy said that Ewing's claims are "baseless and untrue."

He said that state officials have reviewed and signed off on the township's handling of the sewer fund, as well as the state police post. Murphy said that police also have investigated Ewing's claims and have determined them to be false.

In addition, Murphy said that he believes Ewing's mailings violate at least one Campaign Finance Act condition because the mailings do not clearly state how they were paid for.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Act states that "a billboard, placard, poster, pamphlet, or other printed matter having reference to an election, a candidate, or a ballot question, shall bear upon it the name and address of the person paying for the matter."

A person violating these conditions may be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, imprisonment of not more than 93 days, or both.

Ewing sent an email to both Murphy and Brighton Patch on Saturday morning saying: "Thank you for pointing out the oversight on my campaign signs and flyers. They have been updated to identify that they were paid for by my campaign for Brighton Township Supervisor. I apologize for any inconvenience to you or your campaign. I will be informing the County of the oversight."

john ewing November 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ms. Krawcke: All of the allegations of Murphy corruption including illegal sewer billings are true. Please investigate Murphy's claims by having him provide any documentation by police which shows a legitimate investigation was performed, and which affirms the illegal sewer billings and State Police Rental Building Tax Evasions as legal. I am sure Murphy can provide no such documents - clearly he is an unprincipled politician hoping to stonewall the matter and hope people are foolish enough to re-elect him. Tom Murphy is a disgraceful politician and when honest investigations are performed into the illegal sewer billings and tax evasion deals, this will be clear to all. John Ewing P.S. Please obtain any police report which claims to have investigated Murphy's corruption and found it to be legal.
James Sarna November 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I would like to know how they can build a new building in Brighton Township (New State Police Post) and not be hooked up to the sewer system which I was forced to by the township with legal action against me if I did not hook up. The Township built a monster system that is underutilized which was not needed and push the cost on the few that are on it , when Lake of the Pines dropped out it should have been tabled but instead their heads were where the sun don't shine and forced it upon us, the quarterly rates is thievery by the township for their mistakes upon the residents that are on the system YOU KNOW YOU HAVE AN UPSIDE COUNTRY (TOWNSHIP) WHEN GOVERNMENT COMES BEFORE IT'S PEOPLE. James Sarna
john ewing November 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Mr. Sama - The extent of corruption, illegal billings, and foolishness on the Sewer system is yet to be fully understood by the people. In a nutshell, they borrowed $28 million and had less than $15 million in special assessments. Some of the special assessments didn't even exist and constituted bond fraud. It was a financial and legal disaster from the beginning but they hid the problem for years by making loans from the general fund and then three years ago began ratcheting up the illegal capital charges. Over the next year, all of the corruption will be exposed, and you are right that one of the problems was that they did not get enough districts to agree - as you point out, Lake of the Pines did not join. In order to jam it through, they pledged by resolution to Fonda and Woodland districts that the special assessment would not exceed $12,400. Then they did two sinister things: 1. Put in an illegal capital charge at $10 per quarter...an amount that would not generate any protest. The later furthered the fraud by increasing it to the $70 or $80 per quarter which is being billed today. 2. In 2009 began charging the capital charge to non-users/vacant parcels without any legal justification, statutory authority, and in violation of the sewer ordinance. Bishop the Manager claimed the charge was legal and it was a "process flaw" that it hadn't been billed for the first 9 years. 3. Mike Palmer and I spotted the fraud. Bishop fled the township in July.
john ewing November 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Continuing... Lacking Bishop the Manager as his "inside guy", Murphy is now flailing amidst the fraud. None of the denials in the press, or in Mike Palmer's appeal included any clear identification of statutory authority and Murphy is knowingly sending out illegal bills every quarter. The claims that police investigated are bogus and you will notice that neither Nicole Krawcke or Jim Totten have referenced any actual police documents stating that the sewer billings or police post deals are lawful....just vague nonsense intended to make people believe "there is nothing to see here, move along". They had statutory authority to make anyone within 200 feet of the sewer hook up, but didn't exercise it, instead just allowing the financial problems and fraud to fester...and chose to continue placing an increased burden on the existing sewer users, hoping nobody would notice or complain. The proper solution, other than putting Murphy in handcuffs, is to use some of the $14 million in the General Fund to reduce the burden on Sewer users. It's tight but there is enough money to make things right for sewer users. Murphy is just another unprincipled politician making phony denials and hoping to get re-elected based on the people's ignorance. I ask for your vote and confidence that new leadership is required to solve the problems. It is unlikely that the Sheriff will arrest Murphy, but at least we can vote him out. John Ewing
James Sarna November 05, 2012 at 02:27 PM
You have my vote, I also have told some of my friends to vote for you guys, I am sick of government making mistakes and shoving it down out throats and making us pay for their mistakes, keep it going and THANK YOU. James Sarna
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) November 05, 2012 at 08:34 PM
John, I've spoken with Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte and he personally told me that his department has investigated your allegations and found them to be untrue. He also said that if you believe that his department was covering up illegal activities - which it is not - that he invited you to go to the attorney general's office or the Michigan State Police.
Mike Palmer November 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM
To those of you on the Brighton Township Sewer System, and yes I am one of you the entire Township Board is made up of of non-sewer users with the exclusion of John Rogers who will not be returning to the Board. As I had indicated numerous times in meetings that the Board has no impact on themselves when they vote for these tax increases and that they really dont care how how much they continue to raise capital charges and O&m charges. They know the system was a looser from the word go and they continue to raise these rates year after year for seven straight years with no end in sight. Mr. Sarna your are right the State Police post should have been an example set by the Township but Mr. Murphy who negotiated the deal failed all of us, The sewer should have been priority one for sewer hook up to that development but instead he left the sewer users hanging as usual as well as the rest of the Township knowing they do not have the ability to pay the debt. with out the use of loans from the general fund and collette dump. And yes Mr. Ewing is right the Capital Charges are nothing more than smoke and mirrors with no statutory authority. I would hope for the sake of all the sewer users that your votes go to someone other than Murphy otherwise be prepared for more increases he has already allowed this issue to fester too long with no solution even though several have been put before him. Its time for the people to move him out of office and put the Township in the right directio
john ewing November 05, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Nicole: Ask Sheriff Bob Bezotte to provide any document which shows an investigation and a conclusion that the sewer billings are legal. I don't care about anything "personal" from Bob Bezotte. Serious issues get investigated and documents with signatures get created. I believe Sheriff Bezotte is playing you and the people of Brighton Township...not only because he hasn't provided you any documents but also because he is leaving himself an out by suggesting he "invited" me to go to eh attorney general's office or the State Police. It is not his job to "invite' people to go elsewhere for criminal investigations...it is his job to actually do the investigations. The bottom line is that he and his office won't do the investigations and you have to ask yourself why. Please ask him simple questions: 1. Did you perform an investigation ? 2. Were there any documents created that I may see ? At that point you will get an idea of what is going on here. John Ewing. P.S. Eventually Brighton Township will be compelled to reimburse township sewer users for all of the illegal charges, and Bruce Dietz will be paying taxes on his land and building. At that point the people will understand who is actually working for them - it is surely not Bezotte, Murphy, or reporters that take "personal" statements over actual documents.
Grosse pointe yacht club November 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Brian Vick will clear it all up for you people ...good luck
john ewing November 06, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Good sarcasm, but unfortunately the people of Brighton Township don't understand that Mr. Vick was swept out of office along with every board member except 1 in Gross Pointe Shores as a result of an illegal water bills controversy. Why is this important ? 1. For years Brighton Township has been stonewalling its illegal sewer bills and the illegal tax favors to the developer of the rental building for the State Police. 2. Vick was accused of mishandling the illegal water bills controversy including keeping people in the dark by making sure it didn't show up in written meeting minutes...all while he was trying to do deals to make it go away. 3. Eventually Grosse Pointe Shores settled the illegal billings for hundreds of thousands of dollars. 4. Sadly, it appears Brighton Township officials aren't smart enough to understand that they will ultimately be unable to hide their illegal billings. The only question is whether the people of Brighton Township will have to sweep out an entire Board like the people of Grosse Pointe did...or whether responsible honest people can be elected to take the actions necessary to stop the illegal activity. John Ewing

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