Hamtramck’s election controversies gets attention of local media

City Councilmember Abdul Algazali is Hamtramck's leading mayoral candidate, but he may find himself tossed out of the race because of delinquent property taxes totaling $17,000.


By Charles Sercombe

          Hamtramck’s election controversies have grown legs.

          Last Saturday the Detroit News ran a story on leading mayoral candidate Abdul Algazali possibly being thrown out of the election because he is two years behind in property taxes.

          The report also included 46 absentee ballots being set aside for possible investigation because three men not related to the voters dropped them off in city hall.

          Also, the handwriting on the ballots was similar but did not match the signatures of the voters.

          According to state law only family members or members of the household can return an absentee ballot if the voter is unable to return it or mail it back.

          The Review has since learned that the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is now considering whether to press charges against the three men who returned the ballots.

          Hamtramck police are not releasing the names of the men.

          The Review initially broke the story that Algazali, who is a member of city council and is mayor pro tem, owes $12,317 in back taxes for two buildings he owns on Jos. Campau, according to the Wayne County Treasurer’s online tax site.

          The News, however, uncovered two more properties he owes taxes on. In total, said The News, Algazali owes about $17,000.

          Algazali did not return calls from The Review for comment nor did he return calls to the News.

          The City Charter says that any elected official who is a “defaulter” to the city or any other government body will have their election votes voided. The charter also says that any elected official who violates the charter has to be kicked out of office.

          Hamtramck Emergency Manager Cathy Square said the city attorney is still reviewing the matter.


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