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5 finalists to be interviewed for Oakland executive

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

As skirmishing over the selection of a new Oakland County executive continued Tuesday, five finalists were chosen to be interviewed to replace the deceased L. Brooks Patterson.

The finalists will be interviewed by three county commissioners Wednesday in Committee Room A, courthouse Building 12E, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac. The schedule and the finalists are:

--9:30 a.m., Kevin Howley of Huntington Woods, the Democratic nominee against Patterson in 2012, and the president of Menallen Management, which he said provides interim executive services to organizations in transition.

--10:30 a.m., Randy Hazel of Lake Orion, an independent and a quality manager at Dana Inc., and formerly director of quality at American Axle Manufacturing.

--11:30 a.m., David Woodward of Royal Oak, a Democrat who resigned last week as chairman of the county Board of Commissioners.

--1 p.m., Timothy Gossman of Clarkston, an independent, a broker and the owner of Direct Properties Real Estate and Affinity Real Estate Group.

--2 p.m., Julie Secontine of Rochester Hills, who has been county risk manager and state fire marshal.

The interviewing commissioners are Marcia Gershenson, D-Bloomfield Hills; Gwen Markham, D-Novi; and Thomas F. Middleton, R-Clarkston.

The finalists were among 21 people who applied for the post, which has been held on an interim basis by Gerald Poisson, who was Patterson's chief deputy, since the longtime county executive died Aug 3.

Andy Meisner

County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who is interested in the position, continued to criticize the method of selecting the next county executive.

“I’ve raised a concern there is no open and transparent process that is happening, here,” Meisner said. “There’s just this mad rush to do this appointment. What’s the hurry?

“It’s a pretty important job, you know?”

Meisner has alleged that the skids are greased for Woodward.

Woodward could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Meisner also said Republican County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub should resign, and that she should recuse herself from voting on the next executive.

He called for an investigation of Taub, after she sent her fellow Republicans text messages urging them to delete emails regarding the selection of a new county executive.

“The process seems a little shaky,” Meisner said. “Shelley Goodman Taub, the commissioner, has a text message that’s picked up by the media where she’s urging her colleagues to destroy or delete emails and texts.

“To me, that raises a question.”

Meisner said he hand not contacted the county sheriff or state attorney general about a criminal probe.

Spokespeople for both office said Tuesday they had been contacted by no one regarding a request to investigate.

Shelley Taub

Taub said Meisner should be investigated for selling the property of county residents in tax sales when their amount delinquent as been as little as $8.

“Mr. Meisner is the one who should have a criminal complaint filed against him,” Taub said.

She said her knowledge of the process of selecting an executive is limited, regardless.

“I’m not in the driver’s seat. The Democrats are running the show. You’ve got to talk with them.”