Just 48 hours after polls closed for the Aug. 7 primary, the Macomb Township resident suing the county and township clerks on allegations of election fraud asked the court to dismiss his case.
The Macomb County Circuit Court denied this request as Macomb Township had already filed a counter complaint to defend Clerk Michael Koehs in his offical capacity, according to court documents.
Township resident , challenging the validity of more than 50 signatures on 's nominating petitions and claiming wrongful denial of a Freedom of Information Act request.
The Maiuri lawsuit hinged on two points: that the township and county clerks did knowingly accept invalid signatures on Dunn’s nominating petitions and that the township clerk wrongfully denied a FOIA request for a letter that may have supported the allegations of fraud.
Within days of this suit being filed, Koehs and other employees of the clerk’s office .
During a July 25 meeting, Koehs said he believed the suit was filed “solely to generate negative publicity toward myself and Ms. Dunn,” questioning the suit's timing specifically – 64 days after the deadline for challenging petition signatures and less than a month before the election date. “I refuse to have my staff, myself or this Township wrongfully accused by this vicious political stunt," he added.
Macomb Township attorney Albert Addis told Patch that because Koehs was sued in his official capacity as clerk, the township decided to pursue the counter complaint in an effort to “protect the integrity of the clerk’s office” and seek reparations to the “damage done to the clerk’s office” by these false accusations.
“My clients can’t find any evidence, nor has anyone demonstrated any evidence of fraud,” Addis said. “It’s too early to say what the proper remedy is, but we have asked the court for whatever relief it deems appropriate and equitable.”
Addis added this could mean ordering those behind the initial lawsuit to refrain from filing similar suits or seeking financial damages such as attorney fees.
As the case moves forward, Addis said he plans to interview those responsible under oath and act accordingly based on the information uncovered.
The court has yet to provide a pretrial schedule, but Addis said he expects the case to move forward shortly.
Calls to the office of Maiuri’s attorney, James C. Bishai, on Aug. 15 were not immediately returned. Bishai’s voicemail states he will be out of the office until Aug. 20.
The attorney for the county clerk's office had not filed a counter complaint as of Aug. 14.