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Complaint to unseat Monica Palmer from Wayne Co. Board of Canvassers to be investigated – Detroit Free Press

The Wayne County Board of Ethics voted to look into a complaint challenging Monica Palmer’s standing on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers on Wednesday.

The complaint, initially filed by lawyer Thomas Bruetsch in October, calls for Palmer to step down from the board of canvassers for her involvement with the Grosse Pointe Board of Education election. Palmer — who is the founder of Taxpayers for Grosse Pointe Schools, a nonprofit group which advertised what appeared to be support of certain school board candidates — was accused of a conflict of interest in an election she oversees.

The complaint comes one day after a sea of criticism from Black and civil rights leaders who were outraged by an initially split vote Tuesday by the board of canvassers that denied certification of election results. Palmer, along with Republican William Hartmann, later changed their votes to favor certification after a barrage of complaints.

More:Black leaders, civil rights advocates outraged over initial Wayne County Canvassers vote

More:What’s next now that Wayne County Board of Canvassers certified election results

Monica Palmer, founder of the Taxpayers for Grosse Pointe Schools PAC, speaks at the law office of her lawyer, Michael Schwartz, right, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

Critics said Palmer was outright racist and suppressing minority voters after she said she was open to certifying results outside of the city of Detroit and that some precincts were out of balance. Hartmann said there have been problems with Detroit tabulation and election administration in the past that needed to be fixed. 

“Monica Palmer and William Hartmann took their hoods off yesterday in their initial assertions that the county certify every city’s vote except for Detroit,” says one comment read into the record during Wednesday’s meeting. “How sickening it was to hear, but good — I guess — that the power of the people’s voices was able to persuade them to reverse course. … Their actions have brought immeasurable shame on the whole county and I, as a lifelong resident, urge this board to can their racist behinds.”

Wednesday’s vote allows Palmer 21 days to respond to the complaint, filed by attorney Thomas Bruetsch. The process then allots Bruetsch seven days to respond to Palmer’s response and then gives Palmer another seven days to respond to his response. The board is expected to address the complaint at its next meeting Jan. 20.

Free Press reporter Niraj Warikoo contributed to this report.

mmarini@gannett.com

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