Ten Bloomfield Township officials have signed a letter addressed to voters that protests the conduct of Treasurer Dan Devine, who accused Supervisor Leo Savoie of kidnapping his daughter and filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the township last year.
“We publicly reject allegations made by Treasurer Devine and some candidates that we, the management team, have been unduly influenced” by Savoie, the letter says. It's signed by the township’s police chief, fire chief, DPW director, finance director, and six others.
Devine, who has served as treasurer since 1999, called the letter “sad and pathetic” in a phone interview with MT.
“I feel that this is a desperate attempt by failing candidates Savoie and his rubber-stamp board to hold on for dear life in their campaign,” Devine says. “Each signer of the letter reports directly to Savoie and obviously did what they were told in sending this letter.”
When asked what’s at the crux of the disputes between elected officials in Bloomfield Township, Devine responded: “Personality conflicts arise. It’s indicative of a broken system."
Savoie says he did not direct department heads to pen the letter.
“It is completely insulting to insinuate or directly say they’re doing this because they answer to me,” the supervisor says. “Everything he is saying is either half-truths, mistruths, or out-and-out lies.”
The township’s board of trustees, supervisor, clerk, and treasurer are up for re-election in November.
Devine contacted Bloomfield Township police May 1, 2015, with concerns that Savoie was “involved with Devine’s daughter’s abduction,” according to The Oakland Press. His daughter was found unharmed working at a second job as a substitute teacher. Township trustees voted to censure Devine after the incident.
Savoie said he doesn’t understand how “somebody that’s missing for one hour” could be construed as a missing person.
“I didn’t kidnap his daughter,” Savoie says.
The treasurer is appealing a whistleblower lawsuit he filed against the township last year. The suit, which was dismissed by Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman, accuses township officials of causing stress, retaliating against him, and damaging his reputation.
Wednesday’s letter says Devine “has aligned himself with several new candidates who have absolutely no experience in local government.” The treasurer is appealing his lawsuit against the township, the letter says, while pursuing “conspiracy theories of corruption and fraud running rampant not only throughout the township departments, but also with the vendors, contractors and suppliers we work with to provide township services.”
Devine says he’s found $900,000 in spending on water and sewer projects that was not approved by the township board.
Savoie says that’s not the case.
“The reason he thinks there’s a $900,000 discrepancy is [that] in the 17 years of being treasurer, he does not understand how the bid process works and what is included or not included in the bids.”
Savoie, Clerk Jan Roncelli, and Trustees Neal Barnett, Corinne Khederian, and Brian Kepes are named in the letter as officials who “look at the issues, listen to the people, and do the right things for all the right reasons.”