Buchanan City Commissioner will be asked to resign, censured

NOW: Buchanan City Commissioner will be asked to resign, censured

BUCHANAN, Mich. -- A Buchanan City Commissioner will be asked to resign.

Buchanan City Commissioners voted to censure Commissioner Dan Vigansky Monday night and have sights on removing him from office.

In the public hearing Monday night, Buchanan Mayor Sean Denison laid out the four allegations against Commissioner Vigansky, claiming he violated the city’s Code of Conduct and Ethics.

“We felt that it was time to let the people in the community know what was really going on behind closed doors,” says James Busby, a lifelong Buchanan resident. “We wanted people to know the other side of what Dan had been saying and what he had been doing.”

Busby is just one out of a handful of witnesses that gave their testimonies against Commissioner Dan Vigansky in his hearing Monday evening.

Busby's personal experiences with Vigansky ultimately led to a civil rights investigation because of allegations that Vigansky addressed African Americans at a city meeting as ‘you people’ and ‘those people,’ as well as allegedly making personal threats to Busby and telling him all white people are bigoted.

That’s just one of four accusations against Vigansky.

The others include his role in sharing information with the former city manager Ben Eldridge about complaints made by staff, even after being asked to keep those confidential.

Vigansky called those complaints ‘retaliatory BS’.

The city claims Vigansky even confronted two female city employees about their involvement in said complaints.

Mayor Sean Denison and the other three commissioners agreed that all four accusations violate the city’s code of conduct and ethics, however Vigansky disagrees.

When asked if he felt he acted in misconduct in the four allegations against him, Vigansky replied “Not at all, not in a million years. I was just doing my job in all of them.”

Vigansky decided to forfeit his chance to defend himself in his own hearing by not attending, but has made very clear he does not plan to step down from his role as commissioner.

“Knowing Mr. Vigansky the way I do, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to go quietly,” says Busby. “But we’re hoping he does for the sake of Buchanan moving forward.”

“They’re not going to put me out, if anybody puts me out it’ll be the governor,” Vigansky says. “They won’t get a recall, because I’ll win a recall, so even if they get it through and get their signatures. I got more support; I’m getting more support every day. I’m not going away.”

Mayor Denison says the commission will formally ask Vigansky to resign in their next meeting on January 8th. If Vigansky doesn’t resign, the mayor will take the issue up with the office of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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