Guest Editorial: Resolution of censure raises questions of competency on multiple fronts

By Ian Perrotta
The resolution of censure passed against me by the Hamtramck City Council – and the subsequent coverage (or lack thereof) by The Hamtramck Review – marks a low point in my time serving this great city.
First and foremost, the resolution of censure was not passed for the betterment of the city. Rather, it was a blatant attempt to sully my reputation. The resolution was completely unnecessary and only serves those individuals who wish to harm my standing in the community and limit my future professional opportunities.
The members of city council who passed this resolution failed to recognize that passing it will undoubtedly bring ridicule and scorn to Hamtramck. The lack of competence displayed by the passage of this resolution is astounding and is likely to jeopardize future projects that would otherwise be easily achieved.
Second, the fact that this resolution seeks to reprimand me for statements made to the media in 2017 by admonishing me in 2019 to “guard against making such … remarks in the future” raises serious constitutional questions regarding the governmental limitation of my right to the freedom of speech.
Third, this resolution raises questions about the city attorney’s objectivity. The original version of this resolution was written by the now city attorney in 2017 prior to him obtaining his current employment contract with the city, and this current resolution references events in which the city attorney was directly involved.
As such, he should have recused himself from being involved with this resolution. Alternatively, if he was not involved in creating this version of the resolution he should have urged the council to be judicious with its actions – something he did not do, despite multiple people providing reasons this resolution could have significant legal consequences.
Fourth, in addition to being false, the allegations made against me within this resolution are entirely hypocritical, and if my alleged actions truly do merit a resolution of censure then other members of council should be subject to the same fate.
Whereas I may have reacted inappropriately by merely swearing when the city attorney accused me of making decisions for the community “based on who drinks at [my] bar,” I did not react with threats of violence – something Councilman Anam Miah did do in response to my reaction.
Mr. Miah also called me a racial slur while he invaded my personal space and aggressively threatened to “beat [my] ass.” This is particularly egregious, as the inclusive nature of Hamtramck is specifically mentioned in Councilman Saad Almasmari’s resolution of censure against me – an irony that should not be lost on anyone familiar with Mr. Almasmari’s bigoted reaction to the publication of a photo that showed his presence at a wedding between two gay Hamtramck residents in 2016.
Finally, the reporting on this incident by The Hamtramck Review has been factually inaccurate and failed to capture the palpable opposition to the resolution of censure. This raises serious questions of journalistic integrity.
For example, I wrote on my Facebook page that “[t]he council used the resolution of censure for no purpose other than to destroy my reputation,” yet, the Hamtramck Review published the following quote: “They censored [sic] me for no other purpose than destroy me [sic].” If a simple quote can’t be accurately represented, what else is wrong with the reporting?
The answer, unfortunately, is a lot. For instance, despite going line-by-line through the censure resolution for a period of 20 minutes and pointing out factual issues and unsupported conclusions, one of the only mentions The Review article gave to Mayor Karen Majewski was that she “said she did not see what happened because she is shorter than the others.” The article also failed to capture any of the problems I raised regarding the resolution, despite me also speaking on the topic for a period of 20 minutes.
There is much more to say about this issue than can fit in this editorial, and I encourage readers to do their own research on the matter and form their own conclusions. This is a nuanced and complicated situation that goes back years, and very few residents are aware of how the parts and players are interconnected.
My Facebook page has videos of the last four council meetings and I also broadcast a live feed of meetings for those who are unable to watch them at home.
Regardless of this needlessly inflicted blemish to my record of public service, I will not choose to engage in the same type of retaliatory behavior by bringing my own resolutions of censure against other members of council, even though I believe that action would be objectively warranted.
Doing so would only further the enormous divide already present on council and exacerbate tensions. Instead, I will continue to serve the community with the same vigor and zeal I always have, and I will choose to look forward rather than backward as I work to make Hamtramck the best community it can possibly be.
(Mr. Perrotta is a copy editor at The Review.)

Feb. 1, 2019

9 Responses to Guest Editorial: Resolution of censure raises questions of competency on multiple fronts

  1. Stan Zelmanski

    February 1, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    “………serious questions of journalistic integrity.”


    I take it that Mr. Perrotta possibly may not be endearing himself to John or Chip.

    With all seriousness Ian, if you believe that Mr. Allen’s allegations may be inappropriate or inaccurate, please complain in the proper forum.

    Also, the council may rescind a censure by resolution. Keep that in mind.

    My suggestion is that future closed sessions be videotaped OR have the sergeant-at-arms present.

    Don’t forget one thing: the City Attorney position is the only department head that is a city vendor as opposed to a municipal employee. He has a financial incentive to see the city embroiled in controversy and see his firm’s legal fees balloon. Allen Bros. made substantial earned fees in drafting proposed medical marijuana ordinances that never passed City Council – and would have earned far more had the ordinance passed and his firm supervising an arduous local license application process.

    You opposed the hiring of Allen Bros. so don’t expect any favors from that firm. They no doubt earned substantial legal fees in drafting the censure resolution that passed last Tuesday.

    You have not commented on the “abusive language” reference contained in the resolution that was supposedly directed to a “female employee”. Some have said the City Manager was that employee; is that correct?

    If there are witnesses to back up your version of events, let us – the public – know. I perceive from your words above that you feel that many people in city government are against you – this is not fully accurate although there is a certain level of acrimony that may exist.

    There are a number of people who are “covering your back” in what must be a trying time. Give reconciliation a chance. City Council as a body is not against you – you have to relax and remember that time heals.

    Your work in this city is respected. Hang in there, Ian.

  2. Skeeter

    February 3, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    For all those who want to verify the identity of the female employee who allegedly was the recipient of “abusive language” – all indications are that the draftsman of the resolution intended to refer to an incident involving Kathy Angerer during that December 11th closed session.

    In the absence of a denial from Councilman Perrotta or Ms. Angerer, I will assume my information is correct.

    The consensus is that Ian Perrotta should take the censure resolution in the spirit in which it was given – that he correct his behavior to what is expected by a public officeholder.

    This should be a time of introspection, Ian.

    Make a public apology – again – to affected parties.

    Ian, find yourself an appropriate role model – maybe City Attorney James Allen – to mentor you on how to conduct yourself as a councilman and aspiring lawyer.

    Your future is in your hands, Ian – don’t blow it. Your colleagues on City Council want to see you change your attitude – for your own good and the best interests of the city.

  3. anon

    February 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    How come more hasnt been written about the racial slur? Surely such a claim would be addressed no? Would have to agree the 20 minute disection of the censure could have been mentioned to balance out the coverage.

  4. Skeeter

    February 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm


    There is no “racial slur” evidence at this point that has been adverted to that supports Mr. Perrotta’s allegation against Anam Miah. Mr. Perrotta does not even identify the substance of such a putative “slur”.

    In the absence of a denial, I shall assume that such a charge of any racial slur is mere assertion from Mr. Perrotta that remains unconfirmed.

    Obviously if such a statement was made, there would have likely been another witness at that meeting to corroborate it.

  5. Reader

    February 16, 2019 at 11:16 pm


    According to Perotta’s Facebook statement the racial slur was directed at him and was witnessed by Mayor Majewski, who confirmed to another person it happened. If you think Perotta is making the story up then that itself is something that should be being reported.

  6. Fatema Hossain

    February 17, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Has Mayor Majewski come out to publicly confirm the assertion by Councilperson Perrotta of an ethnic slur?

    If so, THAT would definitely be newsworthy – but it has not yet occurred and I am not holding my breath to wait for Mayor Majewski to do so.

    What I DID notice was that Councilperson Perrotta was very subdued at the last City Council meeting despite the fact two public commentary speakers mentioned his censure.

    The censure resolution I believe is performing its intended purpose of correcting Councilperson Perrotta’s behavior into an acceptable mode.

  7. Skip Hartmann

    February 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    So Kathy Angerer is the “female employee” referred to in the censure resolution?

    What does Ms. Angerer have to say about the incident and especially about the racial slur allegation?

    One big question I have what has the Hamtramck Police Department done to investigate these allegations – which have clouded the entire city with a shroud of controversy – did an assault take place and who were the victims?

    Was Ian Perrotta merely a fall guy for other City Council members inability to control themselves?

    When will there be a resolution to this controversy?

  8. Reader

    February 17, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    The censure wasn’t supposed to correct his behavior, it was retaliation and intended to make him look bad. From what I have seen no one has asked the mayor about the racial slur. Shouldn’t the newspaper be asking these questions?

  9. Gary Krantz

    February 18, 2019 at 7:48 pm


    Retaliation for what?

    I do agree that the Hamtramck Review needs to get to the bottom of what happened. Possibly requesting police filings and witness statements.

    We cannot have unresolved misconduct allegations muddying the waters of city government. It erodes public confidence in our elected leaders.

    A newspaper owes a duty of due diligence to its readers in finding out what improprieties occur in government – just like Woodward and Bernstein discovering Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

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