by Ryan Felton
A political rift among top Bloomfield Township officials that's included kidnapping accusations and a whistleblower lawsuit has carried over into more traditional municipal matters: work hours and pay.
Treasurer Dan Devine and Supervisor Leo Savoie have been at the center of a suburban political firestorm since last year, when Devine accused the township’s top official of kidnapping his daughter. Ten officials denounced the treasurer last month in a letter that Devine characterized as “sad and pathetic.”
Now, Savoie is accusing Devine of working inside his office barely 10 hours a week. In a report by WXYZ Channel 7, the supervisor said: "I believe he makes $139,000 a year. Plus all the benefits. If he only wants to work five to 10 hours a week and be in here five to 10 hours a week, I can't tell you what he does the rest of the time.”
The news station’s dogged reporter noted Devine’s office door was “found” locked on a recent Tuesday, the lights off. In an interview with WXYZ, Devine said he responds quickly to a citizen’s concerns or questions.
"A message is taken. I contact them immediately and meet them anytime anywhere,” he said. “I've never had a situation where I didn't return a call or wasn't able to sit down with a person immediately.”
Residents and local county officials offered a mixed bag of responses, some fine with a treasurer seemingly accustomed to working remotely, while others sternly demand someone who’s working “9-5 p.m.”
Devine told the news station if residents don’t like his style, there’s an election this November.