LANSING, Mich. — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a joint statement Friday afternoon on the lawsuit they filed against Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner Friday in Oakland County Circuit Court.
In the lawsuit, they claim the City has violated state law by not calling a special election on in February and instead choosing to follow City Charter by appointing Dane Slater mayor until the November 2013 city election.
“I’m disappointed that city officials have chosen to go this route,” Johnson said in a press release Friday evening. “Unfortunately, we now must seek a legal remedy to uphold state election and recall law. Our position all along has been that state law requires an election in this situation. Troy residents have the right to choose the city’s mayor in February, and the attorney general and I will see that that happens.”
“As Michigan Attorney General, my job is to enforce the law,” Schuette said in the press release. “I am fully supportive of Secretary of State Johnson’s efforts as Michigan’s chief elections officer and agree that the law is straightforward. A February election is required.”
"The City is not claiming that our Charter trumps state law," Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm said Thursday. "Instead, since there are two conflicting State Statutes, the City is obligated to follow the path that allows us to uphold both state law and our charter."
The city has been locked in a battle with the Michigan Secretary of State's office since Council voted on Nov. 21 not to seek further advice from the state regarding the process to replace Daniels, who was recalled on Nov. 6. Both the City of Troy and the Secretary of State were also sued Thursday by political activist Robert Davis and Citizens United Against Corrupt Government (see attached PDF file).
To view the lawsuit and previous correspondence between the city and the state, please see the attached PDF files.