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Application process to replace Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson turns ugly

Choosing new county executive turns into political brawl

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Choosing a new Oakland County executive turned into a political brawl Tuesday as the County Commission looks to install a replacement for L. Brooks Patterson through an application process.

Local 4 Business Editor Rod Meloni, who has been monitoring the process, said the entire situation has turned ugly.

There have been 21 applications submitted for Oakland County executive, according to the county's website. Most are names residents haven't heard of, and some of them are serious about the position while others are not.

Somewhere in the middle, bare-knuckle politics is bloodying noses.

The Oakland County Commission chose not to hold a special election and, instead, a bipartisan candidate evaluation committee was assigned with picking a leader from applications handed in by noon Tuesday.

Of the 21 applications received, three didn't give background information. One isn't at all serious, using the name, "Ima Skaam," claiming to be currently unemployed, offering no references and citing balancing a household budget as their only experience with complex budgeting.

In terms of party affiliation, six applicants said they are Republicans, four said they are Democrats, two claimed to be independent and one chose Libertarian. Five didn't offer any party affiliation.

The most known name on the list is David Woodward, the former County Commission chairman who stepped down last week.

Woodward's application and the political dealmaking that have gone into the process have County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who didn't put his name in as a candidate for the interim job, calling the process "beyond flawed."

Meisner alleges dirty deals and self-interested politicians are involved and said he fears Councilwoman Shelley Goodman Taub might have committed criminal wrongdoing in texting county commissioners, telling them to delete emails after a Freedom of Information Act request.

"I turned in all my emails," Goodman Taub said during a Tuesday phone conversation. "I wanted to prevent improper content getting out."

Despite demands for her to step down, Goodman-Taub said that's not happening.

The County Commission will hold interviews for the job Wednesday and stream those interviews online. Under the statute, the commissioners could vote on a candidate as early as Friday morning.

Here are all the applicants listed on the county's website:

  • David Bandyk
  • Anthony Bartolotta
  • Mark Brackon
  • Vincent Condon
  • Gary Frankowski
  • Paul Gallagher
  • Timothy Gossman
  • Randy Hazel
  • James Hock
  • Kevin Howley
  • W. Barnett Jones
  • Steven Kamber
  • Kurt Kimmerly
  • Shannon Kryla
  • John Latella
  • Brandin Pope
  • Julie Secontine
  • Ima Skaam
  • Mark Stowers
  • Steven White Jr.
  • David Woodward

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