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UPDATED: Murphy Re-Elected Brighton Township Supervisor; Doughty, Slaton Retain Trustee Seats

Newcomers Patrick Michel and Lucille Weaire will join Incumbents Cathy Doughty and Mike Slaton on the Brighton Township Board of Trustees.

Tom Murphy was re-elected as Brighton Township Supervisor, defeating his independent challenger John Ewing, according to unofficial results from the Livingston County Clerk's Office.

Murphy received 6,373 votes, while Ewing received 2,245, with all nine precincts reporting.

Ewing's defeat comes in the wake of his somewhat controversial campaign, which alleged corruption and illegal activities within the current Township Board. The campaign specifically targeted Murphy, with mailings that stated, "We will stamp out Murphy corruption."

Murphy denied the allegations. In addition, Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte and Prosecutor David Morse told Patch that both the sheriff's department and prosecutor's office investigated Ewing's allegations, and it was determined that there were no criminal charges to be made.

In a letter sent to Patch and The Livingston Daily Press & Argus on Wednesday morning, Ewing said he wanted Murphy and the Township board to identify the statutory authority that give the board the right to charge a capital charge in sewer billings as well as a 6 percent finance charges for refinancing in 2005, and if the board cannot identify said authorities, then return the monies to township residents who are victims of illegal billing practices.

Ewing said that if his requests are ignored or disregarded, he will be going forward with recall papers for Murphy.

Brighton Township Trustees Cathy Doughty and Mike Slaton were also re-elected to the Township Board. Doughty had the most votes with 6,315, followed by Slaton with 6,050.

Trustees John Rogers and Jim Kovitz chose not to seek re-election this year, freeing their seats for newcomers.

Brighton Township voters favored Republican candidates over Independents. Patrick Michel and former Township Deputy Clerk Lucille Weaire will join Doughty and Slaton as Trustees with 5,961 votes and 5,666 votes, respectively. Katheryne Friske received 2,053 votes while Mike Palmer received 2,060.

Michel said his first step as a new board member is get a better, deeper understanding of the sewer system and Sunset Park as they are the two major issues that "seem to be open sores for the township right now."

Brighton Township Clerk Ann Bollin and Treasurer Lana Theis ran uncontested and will keep their respective offices.

john ewing November 08, 2012 at 10:46 PM
To Brighton Township Residents: Ask questions at the township hall. Be skeptical of Murphy and Bollin in particular. Ask any of the deniers, Morse, Murphy, or Bezotte to provide a statement in writing - it's quite obvious that neither Ms. Krawcke and Mr. Totten don't really want to be reporters for the people of Brighton Township.
john ewing November 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Ms. Krawcke - get a piece of paper which would present evidence that they considered the allegations. Secondly, get your wording straight, there have been two versions of denials: 1. "baseless and untrue" 2. "no criminal charges were to be made" Stick to the point and ask these guys for specific signed statements claiming the capital charge is legal, the 2% over borrowing costs finance charges are legal, and the tax treatment of Dietz is legal. I couldn't care less about the comments you are willing to publish from these people....obtain legal documents if they exist. If no documents exist then obviously no legitimate investigations were performed. Do your job, but please stop wasting people's time repeating the empty denials of Morse, Murphy, and Bezotte. Are you a journalist or a megaphone for stonewallers ?
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Mr. Ewing, produce some evidence or stop spewing your lies.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
The evidence of illegal capital charges arrives quarterly in the mailboxes of sewer billing victims. It's pretty simple - there is a capital charge while there is no statutory authority for the charge in the statute under which the sewer was financed and constructed. Same with the illegal finance charges - they are charging 6% when their borrowing costs are 4% - that's 2% above the borrowing costs, while the statute allows a maximum of 1%. The illegal tax evasion deal with Bruce Dietz is simple: State law, which Murphy has been provided states that anyone who gains control of public land by lease or otherwise is treated as though they own the land for property tax purposes. The evidence is that Bruce Dietz got a piece of our land for $1 put a building on it and get all the rents from the State Police yet Tom Murphy chose not to assess the property tax due. It is simply fraud, just as though Tom Murphy decided certain homeowners or businesses don't owe property taxes. None of these things are difficult to understand - it's quite apparent that Prosecutor, Sheriff, and others are protecting Murphy and participating in the crimes/cover-up. I have to give Morse more credit than Bezotte though....he said "no criminal charges were to be made" rather than "baseless and untrue". Morse knows the charges are not baseless so he carefully chose words much smarter than Bezotte's denial. This is just beginning.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Ms. Krawcke: If you have any way of determining the actual identities of Tom Murphy supporters "Proud Mama" and "Fightthegoodefight" please do so. I am not surprised that Murphy has few, if any supporters, willing to use their own names, but it would be interesting to find out who these people are, or even whether they might be Murphy himself - people do the strangest things when they are trying to cover-up illegal actions. John Ewing
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Mr. Ewing, you don't know the difference between evidence and your own warped opinion, but the rest of us do. So, here's a little help: a sewer bill is not evidence. As for supporters, it appears that 75% of the voters in this township support Murph over you. Your crybaby act after getting a wood-shed beating at the polls is pretty pathetic, but it must feel bad for a UM grad to get outsmarted by someone without a formal education. Your actions are despicable, Mr. Ewing. You charge everyone else in this county with lying and criminal activity, but you are the only liar and law breaker. Yours are the actions of a desperate and weak man. You lost your legal battle. You lost the election. Now you want to continue your smear campaign because that is all you have left. Do yourself and this township and go back on your meds.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Actually the illegal bills are evidence - If you want to obtain one you may do so. The statute is also easily obtainable. Opinions are made based on examining the evidence - you may also form your own opinion. I don't feel outsmarted - this is the beginning of Murphy's journey to disgrace, not an ending. The scope of the corruption under Murphy will be nearly impossible to keep a lid upon. No legal battle has taken place, but it will and Tom Murphy may be uneducated, but he understands its coming.
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Are you an attorney, Mr. Ewing? Can you site the case law, and/or administrative guidelines, and/or AG opinions, and/or legal precedence that supports your conclusions regarding the supposed statutes? If can do all or any of that, please post all the relevant information. Otherwise, maybe you could spend your time in more productive ways than harassing people and committing libel and slander. Meanwhile the rest of us know that your opinion is not evidence. Your opinion is just an allegation. Your allegations have been reviewed by the sheriff, the prospector, the MSP, and attorneys from the township all the way to the Lansing, and they have determined that no crime has taken place. It must hurt to suffer so many public defeats, but it's time to let it go.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
This blog is not a court of law and anonymous folks like yourself are not going to determine whether the sewer bills and Dietz tax treatment are illegal or legal. However, understand that case law is not required when the plain words of the law will suffice. It's pretty simple: 1. Bruce Dietz obtained public land by long term lease. Murphy chose illegally to not assess him property taxes for the land he obtained and appears to be setting up to do the same for the building. The statute provided to Murphy long ago clearly states that people who obtain control of public land by lease (or otherwise), as Dietz did do, they are to be treated as the owner of the land and assessed applicable property taxes. The plain words of the law are more than sufficient to demonstrate that Murphy is in knowing violation of the statute. And, of course, common sense also supports the law - how could it be that Bruce Dietz gets all the rents from a business but somehow magically doesn't own any of the property which generates the rents. Again, Murphy is in knowing violation. 2. The situation with the illegal capital charges and finance charges of 2% above the borrowing rates also require no case law or complex interpretation. Murphy is in violation of the plain words. He has no credible deniability - even your claim that he lacks education will not fly in court...the guys been there for 8 years...he could have tried to learn something.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Here is the simplicity of the Murphy/Dietz Tax Evasion Case; 1. Did Bruce Dietz obtain public land by lease or otherwise ? Yes, he leased 8 acres of public land for $1 for 30 years. 2. Does Michigan Statute require those who obtain public land by lease to be treated as though they are the owner and assessed property taxes ? Yes, that's exactly what the statute requires. 3. Did Tom Murphy see to it, in direct violation of the statute which he knows to exist, that Bruce Dietz not be assessed property taxes on the public property he obtained ? Yes, that's exactly what Tom Murphy did. 4. Does Tom Murphy believe that he is above state tax statutes ? Apparently. 5. Is it possible Tom Murphy is a crook ? Yes. John Ewing would even say it's quite likely. The more problematic issues for Murphy will be the denials and cover-up. Murphy would love to have others believe these are complex issues providing him some escape from being held accountable - they aren't and he will be held accountable.
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
We've heard your opinions on the matter, Mr Ewing. Your opinions are not evidence. Please provide links to the statutes, site the case law and/or other rulings or written legal briefs that support your case. Do your homework! Why would the prosecutor, sheriff, MSP, and many lawyers from here to Lansing look at this and knowingly turn a blind eye? Conspiracy? Your words are hollow since everyone knows you have an axe to grind with the township after losing your legal battle with them and your tax problem and going to jail. Now you've lost the election. You are the sorest of sore losers.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Act 189 of 1953 - TAXATION OF LESSEES OR USERS OF TAX-EXEMPT PROPERTY 211.181 Taxation of lessees or users of tax-exempt real property; business conducted for profit; exceptions. Sec. 1. (1) Except as provided in this section, if real property exempt for any reason from ad valorem property taxation is leased, loaned, or otherwise made available to and used by a private individual, association, or corporation in connection with a business conducted for profit, the lessee or user of the real property is subject to taxation in the same amount and to the same extent as though the lessee or user owned the real property. Link to full statute: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dj5bnz454dywcyjeoarq1xvr))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-211-181 Bruce Dietz is a user of tax-exempt property. His business is conducted for-profit. He must be assessed property taxes. Tom Murphy is in a tax evasion deal with Bruce Dietz.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 06:33 PM
The above statute has been repeatedly provided to Murphy, the BT Trustees, the Prosecutor, the Sheriff, and the Livingston County Press. Murphy continued to make sure Bruce Dietz was not assessed property taxes for the public land he obtained by lease. Yes, I do believe all of these people understand the nature of Murphy's illegal activity and have repeatedly sought to protect Murphy from being held accountable.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I hope that those people that do understand Murphy's illegal activity ask questions at the township hall. When you look into the eyes of these folks, you may get a better understanding of their true nature as crooks and deceivers. A Republican party which would claim law enforcement as a principle ought to be ashamed and disgraced by Murphy's actions, but instead there is a concerted effort to protect him and to further the criminal tax evasions and sewer billings. As I said, this is just beginning for Murphy.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 06:46 PM
It starts with 2245 people in the township understanding who Murphy really is, and what he is doing. It ends with everyone in the township understanding his corruption, deceit, and cover-up.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Fightingforgoode: Murphy's actions are about more than the simple tax evasion deal between he and Dietz. You need to understand the bigger picture: the rental building for the State Police could never have been economically justified without tax evasion or other illegal activity on Brighton Township's part. This is a really big problem because Murphy effectively destroyed the value of the existing rental building for the State Police on Old-23. That is owned by a private individual who paid taxes on his rental building to the State Police for over 30 years ! That guy is going to shred Murphy in court, call it govt. interference in the private sector, and hang the illegal tax evasion around Murphy's neck. Or, unfortunately around the neck of township residents. Murphy thinks his criminal activity is clever, but only in the long run will he know whether he got away with it - I don't think he will. I think this is just beginning.
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The Michigan State Police is the lessee. As a State agency they are tax exempt. This is quite common in leases to State agencies and other exempt entities. This has been reviewed quite extensively from here to Lansing and everyone but you approves. You need to try to differentiate from public policies that you disagree with and criminal wrong-doing. You also need to deal with your own tax and legal problems. You should stop spreading lies about people just because you don't like them. You should go look in the mirror, if you still want to find a liar and a tax cheat. You need to get over the fact that you lost your legal battle, lost the election, and stop acting like a four year old that did not get his way.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Bruce Dietz leased 8 acres of public land - he is the lessee of the public land. This makes him subject to taxation on the land he leased. Brighton Township separately set up money laundering accounts to make it look like the State Police were leasing Dietz's land/building from Brighton Township instead of Bruce Dietz, the actual owner of the building and lessee on the land. There would be no reason for the State Police to run lease payments through Brighton Township accounts except as part of the scheme to provide illegal tax exemptions to Bruce Dietz. The State agency tax exemption has nothing to do with this - they are renting a building just like they rented the Old-23 building from a developer just like Dietz. The difference is the Old-23 guy actually had to pay taxes on his rental business, while Murphy arranged for illegal tax exemptions for Bruce Dietz. It's possible you aren't willing to understand, but those are the facts. Murphy's tax evasion will not stand - this is just beginning. John Ewing
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Fightingthegoodefight: You asked for statute. I provided it. You asked for explanation as to how the Murphy/Dietz tax evasion deal was set-up. I explained. It is time for you to identify yourself. I don't think there is more I can do to educate you about Murphy's corruption and deceit, so I will let it be. Tom Murphy will, over time, be dealt with appropriately by law enforcement officials outside of Livingston County, where he may have less protection.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Fightingthegoodefight: By the way, just in case you continue your misguided view that somehow Bruce Dietz, a private developer, may be exempt from property taxes on his land/building combination leased to the State Police, just understand the following: 1. If it were somehow a public building, township ordinance and state law would require that the contract to build it be put up to bid. In this case, Bruce Dietz built the building and selected all the contractors. There is no way for crooks like Murphy, or his apologists like you, to claim that Dietz building is a public building. All roads lead to one conclusion: Tom Murphy is a crook. John Ewing
Nikki W November 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I would like to point out that Patch is not a blog. It is a well respected newsite. Are you now adding journalist to your list of many talents, Mr Ewing, therefore giving you the right to tell Ms Krawcke and Mr Totten how to do their jobs? If you're so desperate for your signed piece of paper I suggest you get it yourself, instead of badgering someone who has done their job to the satisfaction of her readers. Fightingforgood is correct in their observation that you are merely making yourself out to be a sore loser by continuing with such a tantrum. I'm certain I'm not the only reader who is bored and annoyed by your constant ranting.
Nikki W November 09, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Excuse me "fightingthegoodefight", not "fightingforgood".
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
It is common practice in real estate to pass through taxes to the lessee and a lessee that is tax exempt is just that - tax exempt. It all depends on how the lease is set-up and in this case the lease has been reviewed and approved all the way to Lansing. There is nothing illegal here and everyone is the world knows it but you. You have been sufficiently debunked.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 09:17 PM
First, the State Police are the Lessee of the building owned by Bruce Dietz. They make lease payments. Their status as a tax-exempt, govt. entity has no bearing on Bruce Dietz leasing business, and they certainly don't "pass-through" any tax-exempt status to Bruce Dietz. If this nonsense were true, the landlord of the building leased by the State Police for the past 30 years would not have been paying property taxes for 30 years ! Any approval of the lease is "as-to-form" and has nothing to do with whether Bruce Dietz owes property taxes on the public land he controls or the building he built upon the public land - the law is clear that Dietz owes property taxes, and it follows that Murphy and Dietz are in a tax evasion conspiracy. Murphy knows it's illegal. Harris knows it's illegal. Prosecutor Morse knows its illegal. Sheriff Bezotte knows its illegal. Whoever you are, it is clear you understand nothing about Bruce Dietz private business or Murphy's obligation to follow the law and assess property taxes on the public land he controls and the building he built upon it. There are no magic ways to set up leases so that private developers who get all the rents for the building are somehow exempt from property taxes or income taxes. Murphy is a man running scared, and all your nonsense seeking to claim understanding of the situation will not help him.
Fightingthegoodefight November 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM
You lost, Mr. Ewing. Stop crying now. Take your meds and a nap an it will all be better when you wake up.
john ewing November 09, 2012 at 10:06 PM
The Murphy/Dietz Tax Evasion Scam is not New: In 1953, the State of Michigan enacted Act 189 to prevent dubious govt. officials from conveying public assets to dubious businessmen for the purpose of benefitting dubious businessmen. The Act sought to make sure that the businessman gets taxed for the value of the asset conveyed. For $1, Bruce Dietz got control of land owned by the people of Brighton Township, for the purposes of making money on a rental building. The land is worth more than $1 - which is a separate violation of statute which requires townships to sell or lease assets for fair-value. Tom Murphy, as Supervisor, must assess property tax upon Bruce Dietz for the 8 acres of public land, and for the value of the rental building itself, as well. It isn't complicated - the State saw this scam 59 years ago and enacted legislation to make it illegal. Murphy has no choice but to follow the statute, and his choice to disregard it and seek to cover it up with the help of others, is the wrong choice. He will be held accountable. Prosecutor Morse flipped from calling my allegations "baseless and untrue" to "no criminal charges were to be made". Morse knows that Dietz must be assessed property taxes, but chose to pass the buck by not filing criminal charges. It may have been a mistake originally, but when Murphy was provided Act 189 of 1953 and chose to continue not assessing property tax it became a crime.
john ewing November 10, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Fightthegoodefight: If you are bored with the Murphy/Dietz tax evasion scam, think about this: BT paid $1,012,000 to an LLC for wetland for the sewer plant. The circumstances are interesting: 1. The purchase agreement identified a 46 acre piece of land which did not exist in legal form but was identified as "donated" to Brighton Township. 2. The agreement suspiciously claimed that the land would be surveyed at some future date and that never occurred. 3. There is a pretty good chance that the seller used the phony identification of a "donated" parcel in a tax evasion scheme. I believe there may be a pattern of activity here, and I can assure you that I will find out why the agreement included a phony, non-existent parcel of land. So far, Murphy hasn't provided any explanation, but he has the information. Do I seem like somebody who is intimidated by phony denials from supposedly upstanding public servants ? 2245 people want answers and ultimately they will get them. John Ewing
Fightingthegoodefight November 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Why don't you tell us all about your lawsuit with the township (that you lost), the numerous court orders you violated, your incarceration, and your harrasment of township emploees (including being escorted off township property by the police)? That than your string of lies an innuendo.
john ewing November 10, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I was forcibly removed from my home in Brighton Township and it was illegally seized by Brighton Township. It was later demolished. I have never been escorted off of township property, however recently Lana Theis made a false police report claiming that my questions as to why she was delaying production of sewer related documents were somehow "troubling" to her. When I discussed it with police outside they informed me that Lana Theis blamed the delay on John Harris, the attorney. I have yet to receive the important documents. Now that I have explained, will you explain who you are and why it is so important for you to help Tom Murphy hide his criminal activity ? Thanks, John Ewing
Fightingthegoodefight November 10, 2012 at 02:06 PM
You are conveniently leaving out facts. Please, tell us all about the house and why you were removed from it and your subsequent refusal to submit to reasonable court orders that would allow you to live in your home. Tell us why you were sent to jail. Tell us about your tax problems. Tell the whole truth about your harassment of township employees and officials.

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