This saga started last month. I reported on July 21st that Shiawassee County board Chairman Jeremy Root gave himself and others a huge $25,000 hazard pay taxpayer-funded Covid relief bonus check. He also gave other board members huge taxpayer-funded Covid relief bonus checks but not as much as he gave himself. In that article I wrote:
“There was and is so much Covid-19 slush fund money floating around in Michigan and the United States many seem to be taking advantage of it. The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners has awarded themselves huge hazard pay bonus checks and then turned around and gave small hazard pay bonus checks to the County employees who actually interacted with the public. Shiawassee County is northeast of Lansing and west of Flint. The city of Owosso is right in the middle of the county.”
In a follow-up article I wrote on July 26th I informed my readers:
“We also found out that not only did the Chairman give himself the maximum taxpayer-funded hazard pay in the amount of $25,000 he also gave $25,000 bonuses to:
- Sheriff Brian BeGole
- Building Grounds Superintendent Timothy Hill
- Health Department Director Larry Johnson
- Finance Director Tracy Bublitz”
In that article, I also informed my readers that all seven members of the commission and the above-mentioned elected officials in the county stated they would voluntarily return the taxpayer-funded Covid relief bonuses given to them.
Now MLive is reporting that Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners Chair Jeremy Root has resigned from his position of Chair of the board but not his seat as a Commissioner.
There is a bit of a back story to this, the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners were to meet yesterday to vote whether to remove him from Chairman of the board. Mr. Root beat them to the vote and submitted his letter of resignation from Chairman of the Board.
Hundreds of people showed up to that meeting to voice their concerns, one of them is a member of the Owosso City Council, Daniel Law stated:
“You’re not just an embarrassment to Shiawassee County, you’re an embarrassment to the country…This whole county government needs major reform … The integrity of the board is gone. There is no way to return it.”
Could this be the final nail in the coffin, as long as he retains his seat as a county commissioner I would say no and we find out there may be some legal trouble for Mr. Root and the board?
Judge Mark W. Latchana from the Genesee County Circuit Court has just approved “a preliminary injunction tied to a lawsuit claiming Shiawassee County commissioners violated the Open Meetings Act in awarding the hazard pay”.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! We could also add to the “and enrich ourselves at the expense of the taxpayer”.