Complaint made against Buchanan Mayor to be reviewed

BUCHANAN, Mich. -- The Mayor of Buchanan faced a formal complaint in Tuesday night’s meeting.

A local said she filed the complaint in an effort for full transparency and accountability, however the mayor claims he did nothing wrong.

“It’s so important that the public have full transparency,” says Carla Jackson Johnson, who filed the complaint.

Johnson believes Mayor Sean Denison violated the Buchanan charter multiple times, starting with his suspension of former City Manager Ben Eldridge.

She believes the mayor suspended Eldridge without a notice of hearing and full vote from the city commission.

Johnson says she’s simply making sure the mayor is being held accountable for in the same way they did Commissioner Dan Vigansky, who had his own complaint and hearing against him last month for informing Eldridge about an internal investigation.

“I think these things need to be called out as a matter of fairness and to not pull out one commissioner while the others can do what they want,” says Johnson.

Meanwhile, Mayor Denison tells ABC57 the accusations in the complaint are untrue and he did not break the City Charter.

He says he did not ‘remove’ former City Manager Ben Eldridge, instead, putting him on paid suspension was within his right as mayor.

Because of that, it was recommended by the commission that Tuesday's complaint go to the City Attorney for review, to see if the mayor did violate any acts within the Buchanan charter.

“In this case I think it’s incredibly important we have that opinion, because as that’s been brought up multiple times, the council was sought out prior to the decision of the suspension, that was a conversation directly with the mayor and the council,” says City Commissioner Patrick Swem during discussion on the complaint. “So, if we’re going to make a decision on whether it was within the rights of his position, we should have an understanding and a memorandum as to why that’s the case and why it’s not a violation."

The complaint will go to the City Attorney for review, and then another discussion is expected to be held at the next commissioners meeting.

Share this article: