The primary battle for the Oakland County executive seat may have sparked a skirmish between the county commission and its treasurer, Andy Meisner, on Wednesday.
The board wants Meisner to answer questions about a specific tax-foreclosure case that led to a bombshell Michigan Supreme Court decision. That decision, delivered last week, held that counties may not profit from the sale of foreclosed properties, and must compensate the former owners. That decision could lead to millions in belated settlements.
In one of the Oakland County cases brought before the court, the tax owed was $8.41. Three members of the county commission wrote, according to The Detroit News:
“It appears your actions as Treasurer to foreclose on an Oakland County retiree’s property for $8.41 has exposed the county to serious risk,” said a July 21 letter to Meisner signed by board Chairman David Woodward and commissioners Mike Gingell and Helen Zack.
... The letter goes on to inform Meisner that the board of commissioners has established a Special Committee on Foreclosure Practices and Policies “to investigate and make recommendations to protect the Oakland County taxpayers.”
The letter asks Meisner, who is a Democratic candidate for the Oakland County Executive Office, for response, including documentation to several questions by Friday. The board wants to know how many properties have been foreclosed, what profits were gained at public auction, and how those funds were eventually spent.
Meisner, for his part, points out that Woodward, Gingell and Zack all back his opponent in the county executive race, incumbent David Coulter, and that the letter amounted to a "political witch hunt."