“The duty of loyalty is inherent in administering township governance. This duty requires members to avoid conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and exploiting township information or transactions for personal gain. The duty is codified in various statutes. The duty of loyalty prohibits self-dealing and voting on decisions where a member will personally gain from the outcome. MCL 15.342 incorporates facets of the duty of loyalty by prohibiting the following: Using township resources, property and funds for personal gain or benefit.” — from the website of Fahey, Schultz, Burzych, Rhodes PLC
It is ironic that this statement comes from the same law office that has been getting paid handsomely by Maple Valley Township with misappropriated funds that are not documented on the yearly budget, and where conflict of interest runs rampant among the planning commission as well as the township board.
Attorney Kyle O’Meara has stated on several occasions at meetings he has attended, that there is no conflict of interest with regards to drafting the current wind ordinance, although, there are members of the Maple Valley Township Planning Commission, as well as the Maple Valley Township Board, who are either lease signers or related to lease signers, which is a clear definition of conflict of interest, and which clearly goes against the very definition of duty of loyalty set forth by the Fahey Law Office, as well as the bylaws set forth by the Planning Commission.
Fahey has made over $50,000 from the citizens of Maple Valley Township, which is interesting since the Maple Valley Township Board never voted to hire Fahey Law Office. Maple Valley Township Supervisor John Schwandt was allowed to contact Fahey to take the wind ordinance that was drafted as of September 2020 and have the law office to review that wind ordinance with regards to the legal verbiage. Through emails received from FOIA requests, the Fahey stated the review would not exceed $900.
Where did John Schwandt feel he had the authority to hire the Fahey to represent Maple Valley Township without a vote by the board? Why are the attorney fees not listed in the township’s yearly budget? When did the definition of conflict of interest become such a gray area?
Maple Valley Township