Oakland County Commissioner Must Resign Over Email Coverup

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

August 12, 2019

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Oakland County Commissioner Must Resign Over Email Coverup

Resignation and new email standards will help rebuild public trust

MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan is calling for Oakland County Commissioner Shelly Taub to resign following a report from WXYZ where she admitted to sending a text message urging her fellow commissioners to delete public emails.

“Commissioner Taub needs to resign because she’s admitted, on camera, to trying to hide public documents from the people of Oakland County, who deserve real accountability from their elected officials,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Normally, it’s takes a long time for bad actors to admit they’ve done wrong, but Commissioner Taub cut right to the chase—and she should act with the same expediency in stepping down from office.”

According to WXYZ, Taub sent a text message to her colleagues urging them to “DELETE DELETE DELETE” emails discussing the process for filling the vacant Oakland County Executive seat and admitted to the outlet that she wanted commissioners to hide conversations from the public.

The report also indicated that many Oakland County Commissioners use private emails, rather than accounts linked to the county system. Taub said the system was out-of-date, leading many commissioners to use private email accounts.

Progress Michigan has been involved in a lawsuit with the Attorney General’s office over former AG Bill Schuette and his staff’s problematic use of private email accounts to conduct the public’s business. That case is now before the Michigan Supreme Court.

“Elected officials should not be using private email accounts to conduct public business, but even if they are because of technology issues, they need to make sure those emails are included in Freedom of Information Act responses. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some very high-profile cases of that not happening like it should, which is why using government-issued emails is important,” Scott said. “Oakland County Commissioners should show they’re serious about transparency and being accountable to the public by immediately moving over to public email addresses. If the email system is in need of an update, they need to make it happen.”

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