(Editor’s note: This is an edited version of what appeared in the print version of The Review.)
By Charles Sercombe
A Hamtramck resident is seeking the removal of Councilmember Anam Miah.
Carrie Beth Lasley says Miah, who is Mayoral Pro Tem, should never have been allowed to run for election in 2015 because a piece of property he owned in Detroit was foreclosed for non-payment of taxes.
That made him a “defaulter,” Lasley said.
The city charter says this about being a defaulter:
“No person shall be elected or appointed to any office who is a defaulter to the City or to any board, or office, or department thereof, or to any school district, county, or other municipal corporation of the State, now or heretofore existing. All votes for the election or appointment of any such defaulter shall be void.”
Lasley submitted documents to back up her assertion at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board.
The RTAB, however, only oversees city financial matters.
Lasley also wants the city attorney determine if all votes Miah participated in after the election to be “re-tallied” and any resolution he sponsored to be “re-legislated.”
She further urged Miah “to abstain from participating in government actions until his eligibility has been determined.”
Miah declined to comment on the matter.
Acting City Manager Kathy Angerer said the city attorney is reviewing the issue, and declined to comment further.
According to the Wayne County Treasurer records that Lasley submitted, Miah was co-owner of a property at 5664 Harold. In March of 2015 the county foreclosed on the property.
The Detroit Land Bank Authority later became the owner of the property.
The issue of city officials being in default is not new.
The Review has shown in recent years that other councilmembers have fallen behind in property taxes and water bills.
Despite that evidence the city declined to take action. It was said that the city charter is unclear on who starts the process of removing an official who is a defaulter.
Those revelations about elected officials falling behind on their bills to the city and other government entities prompted a new procedure in city hall.
In recent elections, the city clerk now informs candidates to first make sure they are not potential defaulters. If overdue bills are not taken care, the city clerk will now not include the candidate on the ballot.