Thursday, August 14, 2008

DeVos Watch: Dick Admits He Would Break Law in Kilpatrick Situation?

Every single time Dick DeVos opens his mouth he gives us more proof of why the man should never hold elected office. As much as we all want to see Kwame Kilpatrick out of the big chair in Detroit - to arbitrarily yank him out without a hearing would not only be illegal by Michigan's constitution, it would set a dangerous precedent that could be used by other governors in the future to remove elected officials that they deem "unable to serve", for whatever reasons they choose - perhaps even political.

Stop and think about that. You don't want a governor that would overturn the will of the people on their judgment alone - you want a procedure in place so governors can't abuse their power.

Watch Dick put the "dick" back in dictatorship as he jumps on the Remove Kwame bandwagon. Mr. Monday Morning Quarterback tells MIRS...

Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVOS told MIRS today that if he'd been Governor, he would have already removed Detroit Mayor Kwame KILPATRICK from office.

"That would be yesterday's news," DeVos said. "The issue isn't whether he's innocent or guilty, it's whether he can effectively serve."

So, is Dick admitting that he would be the final judge and jury on who can "effectively serve"? That he would break Michigan's constitutional law whenever he sees fit? If true, it's a damn good thing he isn't governor. Granholm is going by the book here - and that book says that an elected official is due a hearing before they are removed from office. The governor's lawyer Kelly Keenan spelled it out for the Freep-

Michigan Election Law (1954 PA 116, MCL 168.327) authorizes the governor to remove a city officer for specified reasons but states, among other things, that “[t]he governor shall not take action upon any charges made to the governor against a city officer until the charges have been exhibited to the governor in writing, verified by the affidavit of the party making them, that he or she believes the charges to be true...and an opportunity given the officer of being heard in his or her defense.”

Not only must the governor strictly follow the statute, failure to do so could lead a reviewing court to overturn the governor’s action.

Seeing as how Kwame appears determined to fight this every step of the way - you can be sure that if DeVos were governor, his brash action would open a whole new legal can of worms and the situation would get worse, perhaps tied up in the courts for years, costing us millions in taxpayer money.

If we have to go down this road, and given Kwame's refusal to step down and motions to try to drag this out, it appears we must, we have to do it by the numbers so it can't be overturned later. It would be nice to have the Brady Bunch resolution and pull him now - but we have a system in place for a very good reason: you don't want to give any one elected official that kind of power.

For more than 100 years, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that this requirement of notice and a reasonable opportunity to present a defense means an accused public official threatened with removal from public office must be given a hearing at which he may offer proofs in his defense.

As recently as 1968, the Michigan Supreme Court reviewed then-Governor George Romney’s attempt to remove a county officer from office and emphasized that fair and just treatment must be guaranteed in such a process because it is a “quasi-judicial proceeding” and the governor’s power must be exercised in such a fashion as to afford due process.

Due process. What a concept. One that Dick DeVos would throw out whenever he decides that an official, elected by the people, can't "effectively serve". Serve Dick, that is.

Something to keep in mind should a certain someone choose to run for governor in the future.