Board fines Marrocco for filming ad in county facility

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco has been fined $125 for violating the county’s ethics ordinance by filming a television campaign ad in a county facility.

The county’s Ethics Board voted Wednesday to impose the fine on Marrocco after Leon Drolet of Macomb Township filed a complaint about the commercial showing the candidate at the Chapaton Pump Station.

The commercial was released for broadcast Sept. 13, according to Marrocco’s campaign.

The ethics ordinance prohibits county employees from using county buildings or property for campaign purposes.

In a letter to the ethics board, Marrocco argued the Chapaton Pump Station is not a county-owned property.

He wrote the facility was built and owned by the 81/2 Mile Relief Drain Drainage District which he says is a separate legal entity that is not subject to the county’s ethics ordinance.

He released a separate statement Wednesday saying: “While I strongly disagree with this decision, I’ll abide by the ruling.”

Marrocco has campaigned heavily for re-election in a race against U.S. Rep. Candice Miller — who is perhaps his toughest competitor yet.

Marrocco blamed Miller’s campaign for the ethics complaint saying in the letter that Drolet filed it “in a pathetic ploy to distract Macomb County voters from Miller’s own ethical transgressions and her terrible record on environmental issues and clean water.”

Miller’s campaign released a statement Wednesday saying “once again Anthony Marrocco sees no separation between his personal business and political interests and his duties on behalf of the people of Macomb County.”

Chief Deputy County Executive Mark Deldin said this is the first time since the ordinance was created around 2011 that someone has been fined for violating it.

“Had Mr. Marrocco approached our office, since the county executive has the authority and control over all county facilities, we never would have permitted the use of that facility for campaign purposes,” Deldin said.

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