Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Will bullying influence guv's decision?

It will be interesting to see whether Governor Rick Snyder removes, suspends or takes no action in response to Clinton Township officials asking him to remove Clerk George Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is accused of bullying three of his employees.
Snyder by law has the power to kick out Fitzgerald, and was asked to do so earlier this month by the township board. Snyder referred the request AG Bill Schuette for analysis.
Coincidentally, Snyder admitted last December that he was bullied throughout his educational career. He made the surprising comment when he signed anti-bullying legislation.
“I was bullied because I was a nerd,” Snyder said at a press conference, adding he was “beaten up” in elementary and junior high schools and “pushed around” in high school and college.
Whether or not his past comes into play, Snyder’s decision won’t be easy.
It would take a lot for him to remove any elected official, especially one who faces re-election in less than five months. Politically, it might look bad for the GOP guv to remove a Dem and virtually assure that the clerk’s Republican opponent, Kim Meltzer, wins the office.
Granted, the accusations against Fitzgerald are serious. But he has not been charged with a crime and there are no allegations of a physical attack. And the clerk’s office seems to be functioning, albeit dysfunctionally.
My guess is Snyder will take a hard look at it, but a good compromise may be a suspension that includes sensitivity training. That also means Fitzgerald would probably have to agree to it.
Removal seems drastic. But who knows? His empathy for Fitzgerald's alleged targets could play a bigger role than I think. 
Stay tuned. The Macomb Daily will follow it.


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