Hearing will determine Taylor treasurer’s fate

Photo by Sue Suchyta Taylor City Council Chairman Tim Woolley (left) reads a statement, as Council Secretary Michelle Chinavare listens at the March 19 council meeting, about the latest steps the council has taken in its dispute with elected City Treasurer Ed Bourassa. Several months ago, the council voted to eliminate Bourassa’s salary while he is on disability leave. Bourassa says he is working from his home office, while some council members dispute the contention.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Taylor City Council Chairman Tim Woolley (left) reads a statement, as Council Secretary Michelle Chinavare listens at the March 19 council meeting, about the latest steps the council has taken in its dispute with elected City Treasurer Ed Bourassa. Several months ago, the council voted to eliminate Bourassa’s salary while he is on disability leave. Bourassa says he is working from his home office, while some council members dispute the contention.

 

Woolley reads statement at city council meeting

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – City Council Chairman Tim Woolley provided an update on the status of City Treasurer Ed Bourassa and the alleged vacancy of his elected office at the March 19 council meeting.

Reading from a prepared statement during the open business portion of the agenda, Woolley said the city’s corporate counsel has been working with Bourassa’s attorney, Michael Pitt, to ensure that the city treasurer is provided an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself at a hearing.

Woolley said Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court Judge Theodore Metry will preside over a quasi-judicial hearing. A quasi-judicial hearing allows local governments to hold an evidentiary hearing, then make its decision based on the written and oral evidence presented.

Woolley said Metry will determine the schedule for the hearings, and will work with both parties to set forth the procedural parameters.

“The parties will be able to call witnesses and cross examine witnesses,” Woolley said. “We appreciate your patience as we do everything to ensure that Mr. Bourassa has a fair hearing.”

Hearing dates and times have not yet been set, but when they are, the city website states that the dates will be posted on the website, cityoftaylor.com, under the city news tab.

Bourassa filed a federal lawsuit after the council voted 5-2 at its Dec. 18 meeting to stop the payment of his salary effective Jan. 1, and said he has been working from home since incurring a disability injury which makes walking difficult for him.

Bourassa was dropped by two hospital orderlies following hip surgery, and he said his recovery has been challenging and painful.

Woolley and then Council Chairman Alex Garza, and City Council members Angela Croft, Butch Ramik and Daniel Bzura voted Dec. 18 to eliminate Bourassa’s salary; Council members Caroline Patts and Charley Johnson voted against then resolution. Garza resigned Jan. 1 after winning election in November to serve in the state Legislature.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)