Oakland County executive defends Troy city manager

L. Brooks Patterson says Troy Mayor Daniels launched personal assault on city manager

Published On: Feb 13 2012 02:40:00 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2012 06:33:47 PM EST
TROY, Mich. -

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson released a statement Monday in response to Troy Mayor Janice Daniels' position paper in which she says the city manager, John Szerlag, is not able to perform his duties.

In his statement, Patterson said Daniels' paper ended with the following: "I must conclude that I have no confidence in our City Manager's ability to continue to perform the duties granted to him in this position."

Read statement: Patterson defends Troy city manager

Patterson calls this a personal attack from Daniels on Szerlag which stems from a dispute between the two.

"A dispute between two individuals does not render one of them suddenly incompetent to perform their duties," Patterson wrote in his statement.

The county executive said he has worked with Szerlag for nearly 20 years and his staff has considered him "experienced and knowledgeable."

Patterson prefaced his statement with another statement on how he normally stays out of local politics but that recent actions from Daniels made him feel he should "rise to the defense of Szerlag."

He said the Troy Modal Transit Center "controversy" was something he would stay out of.

Local 4 could not reach Daniels on Monday for comment.

Szerlag has responded by letter to the criticisms Daniels raised against him. In an interview with Local 4, he thanked Patterson:

"I was surprised that Mr. Patterson would involve himself in a local issue like this," the city manager said. "But I was also honored that a consummate professional like Mr. Patterson would compliment my duties and accomplishments as a city manager."

Szerlag's job does not appear to be in jeopardy. Though Daniels is the mayor, she has only one vote on the City Council.

-- Troy Mayor Janice Daniels