Inside and outside of Oakland

Patterson to call for grand jury to investigate political corruption

  Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson will announce today that he will petition the Oakland County Circuit Court to impanel a one-person grand jury to investigate allegations of political corruption.

  He declined to go into details ahead of a scheduled a 1:15 p.m. news conference, but the only local allegations of political impropriety recently have centered around candidate filings for a group called Tea Party, which is seeking political party status on the November ballot.
  Patterson is the latest public official to ask for an official inquiry into the candidate filings of the Tea Party group.
  On Friday, Oakland County Clerk Ruth Johnson held a news conference alleging that some of the candidate filings were possibly fraudulent based in part on a letter from one of the so-called candidates saying he had not filled out paperwork to run for office.
  In that news conference, Johnson also said signatures on voter registration cards didn't appear to match signatures on affidavits of identity filed by the candidates, and she named Oakland County Democratic Party employee Jason Bauer as the notary on many of the filings.
  Johnson turned her information over to Oakland County prosecutors who referred it to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for investigation.
  "Right now we don't have solid facts, we have assertions that need to be investigated," said Paul Walton, the Oakland County chief deputy prosecutor.
  Bauer resigned over the weekend, and Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Mike McGuinness, a candidate for Oakland County commissioner in Waterford, is expected to do so today.
  On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted against giving the Tea Party group political party status on the November ballot in a split 2-2 vote that is expected to be challenged in court this week.
  Republicans have accused the Tea Party group of ties to the Democratic Party and an attempt to siphon off votes in the November election.
  Tea Party organizations have stressed they don't want party status and have also called the group a fake.

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