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Judge Orders May 2013 Special Election for Troy

"The court finds that fairness in the election process mandates that timely notice be rendered," said Judge Denise Langford Morris. "Therefore, the court finds that the next regular election date is in May."

PONTIAC – Oakland County 6th Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris on Wednesday afternoon ordered a May 2013 special election for Troy to elect a new mayor.

The decision marks the tentative end to a nearly month-long battle between the City of Troy and the Secretary of State's office after Council voted on Nov. 21 not to seek further advice from the state on how to replace former Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, who was recalled on Nov. 6.

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"The court agrees with the Secretary of State that the law requires a special election be held following a recall on the next regular election date, which is February 26, 2013," Morris said, reading her decision into the record Wednesday afternoon before a crowded courtroom. "However, after a careful review of the timeline and corrected affidavit of Elections Director Christopher Thomas, the court finds it would be virtually impossible for the election to be held in February due to the holidays."

She continued: "The court finds that fairness in the election process mandates that timely notice be rendered. ...  Therefore, the court finds that the next regular election date is in May."

Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm, who has advocated for a November 2013 election date, said she is glad the situation has been resolved.

"Clarity has been provided, and we will certainly comply with the court’s order," Bluhm said. "We’ll proceed with a May election date. Our only interest was to protect the integrity of the election process, and this is a situation where it wasn’t clear. Now we have clarity, and we will move on from there.”

“Democracy and the voters in Troy are the real winners today," Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said in a press release Wednesday. "Voters are the ones who will be choosing the city’s next mayor.

"From the start, we’ve said that state law requires the election and now a judge has agreed. We now will work with city and county leaders to ensure the May election occurs in accordance with the judge’s ruling. I thank the Attorney General’s Office for representing my office in this case.”

Both the City of Troy and the Secretary of State were also sued Nov. 29 by political activist Robert Davis and Citizens United Against Corrupt Government, though Morris dismissed that case Wednesday, saying Davis did not have the authority to bring forth the lawsuit.

Morris has ordered the Secretary of State's office and the City of Troy to meet to prepare a new election timeline and report back to the court within five business days. The Secretary of State, meanwhile, may still appeal the judge's decision.

Editor's note: Quotes from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson were added to this story at 9:40 p.m. on Dec. 12.

ann galen December 15, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Daffy Noodnicks, again! you make yet another comment just about me. So flattering. You are such a big fan of mine! I know you think I am adorable, but you really need to start a new topic just about me if you want to continue to talk only about me. Please reserve this space for comments about this topic.
ann galen December 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Maybe there will be a draft Janice Daniels movement. It sounds like an easy win for Janice.
ann galen December 15, 2012 at 03:25 PM
"Mom",, welcome to my fan club!!! I have so many admirers who completely ignore the subject ,matter, and instead just want to talk about me. Unfortunately, I think your, and others, fascination with me is going to far, and you might need help. Flattery, flattery! I hope in the future you might think of something relevant to this topic to make a legitimate topic. In the meantime, why dont all of you get together and make a fan club topic just about me?
Mom December 15, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Ann- Wow your track record with facts remains perfect. I am anything but a fan. You did perfectly relay your narcissism, which is another indicator you are related to Janice. I notice you avoided my questions, are you Janice's mom or a relative and why do you care about a city over 1,000 miles from where you live? It's just odd.
cookiepro2 December 15, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I think I was mistaken, thankfully. I re-read the Free Press, Detroit News and Oakland Press articles and nowhere did I see mention that the May election would be for a six month term, that is until the Novermber 2013 election, and additionally the State statute description that I've found says the election would be for the remainder of the recalled official's term. ann galen, I think Messrs. Brake and Kempen will well represent Janice Daniels's views and I'm sure Ms. Daniels has better things to do as well than to enter the political maelstrom again. But of course she is free to do so, but IMO, it would be a waste of her money, public tastes are fickle.

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