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Suit alleges improper vote by Oakland County GOP

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — Two members of the Oakland County Republican Party are suing the local political group alleging it conducted an improper, illegal election of county executive officers at its November election.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Oakland Circuit Court, said an inflated number of at-large delegates were permitted to vote at the group’s Nov. 17 convention for posts on its executive committee, which allowed some officers, including chairwoman Theresa Mungioli, to stay in power.

Plaintiffs Tami Carlone and Myron Zolkewsky, who could not be reached for comment Monday, said they also filed the suit on behalf of the Michigan Conservative Coalition. The suit was assigned to Judge Shalina Kumar.

“I have not seen the lawsuit and will have to have our attorney look at it first,” Mungioli said Monday. “I had heard they were threatening to sue.”

Ian Barber, the group’s executive director, said he was not aware of the lawsuit but believed the county organization is complying with state law and its own bylaws. Barber said Carlone and Zolkewsky are members of the executive committee and the Michigan Conservative Coalition is not affiliated with the county group.

In the suit, Carlone, who was a candidate for treasurer, said a “wrongfully inflated” executive committee — comprised of 106 rather than the proper 92 delegates — cost her the treasurer’s post and “wrongfully elect other officers.” Specific vote results were not provided.

By state statute, according to the lawsuit, there should have been 46 people appointed to the executive committee, including persons nominated for county office in the most recent election and persons nominated for statewide legislative office. An equal number of additional persons, 46, can be appointed by the executive committee.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction against the county group for conducting any conventions in violation of state law or its own bylaws. It also seeks to void the results of the November convention vote, to have a correct number of voting delegates established and a new convention and election of officers held and supervised by the court.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319