Commerce Twp. supervisor probed over election affidavit

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Voters in Commerce Township in Oakland County will have no names to pick from for supervisor on the primary ballot Tuesday.

But there are four candidates, including incumbent Republican David Scott, all registered as write-ins. Scott’s name was removed from consideration for the ballot after he allegedly filed inaccurate paperwork with the Oakland County Elections Division.

State police confirmed Thursday they are reviewing a report that Scott, who is in his first term, filed a false affidavit.

Commerce Township Supervisor David Scott

“The matter is under review,” said State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Shaw, who declined to provide additional details until a report is submitted to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

The incident was initially reviewed by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, according to Undersheriff Michael McCabe.

“The elections director (Joe Rozell) reported his concerns Scott had signed and submitted an erroneous affidavit required to be placed on the ballot,” said McCabe. “It involved representing he had no outstanding paperwork that needed to be filed. But there were — Rozell said there were outstanding filing fees and fines over three years.”

Rozell did not return calls for comment Friday.

McCabe said the sheriff’s report was turned over to the State Police because Scott, 62, is a retired sheriff’s deputy and Commerce Township contracts patrols from the sheriff’s department.

 “I was late in filing some paperwork,” Scott said. “I’m like the shoemaker’s son who needs shoes. I should have done it.

“But I sent in my credit card in early April and they ran it for $3,000. If I had done it on time, it would have only been $500.”

Scott said to avoid having his name removed from the ballot by the county clerk's office, he withdrew it and then registered as a write-in candidate.

Under state elections law, a candidate determined to file false or inaccurate statements on his or her affidavit must have their name excluded from the election ballot and can be convicted of a felony with penalties up to a $1,000 fine and five years in prison.

“This is really a customer service problem, compounded by COVID-19,” Scott said. “The county office wasn’t open to the public and I attempted by phone and email to resolve the issue. I apparently wasn’t successful.

“What I find strange is that I have heard accommodations were made for at least one other candidate, a Democrat, in another community,” he said.

Scott was elected in 2016, beating longtime supervisor Tom Zoner.

Zoner is one of the registered write-in Republican primary candidates for the $90,000-a-year supervisor post, along with Larry Gray Jr. The other write-in candidate is Democrat Pamela Sue Jackson.

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