Request to remove official for ‘drunkenness’ declined
Vienna Township — Gov. Rick Snyder has declined a request from a township board in Genesee County to get rid of an elected official amid allegations of excessive use of alcohol.
Snyder spokesman Dave Murray tells The Flint Journal that the governor’s office rarely intervenes in local issues.
Vienna Township board members voted Monday to have two attorneys and a judge oversee an April 10 hearing about Township Supervisor Randy Taylor.
Taylor has called efforts to remove him an act of “desperation.” He says he was a township trustee for years but suddenly made enemies after becoming supervisor in 2012.
Taylor says he didn’t do anything wrong and wants the township to provide him with a lawyer. A 1954 law says “habitual drunkenness” can lead to removal from office.
An investigative report written by an attorney hired by the township trustees detailed incidents that witnesses said occurred in 2013 and early last year.
The 14 people quoted in the report were board members, township workers and officials with other townships and agencies.
They described repeated incidents of Taylor appearing to be drunk or high at government offices, board meetings and other types of meetings, according to the report.
The investigative report quoted several people as saying Taylor told them his behavior was caused by pain medicine he takes for a bad back.
He also told them he sometimes had a beer while on the medication, which, at various times, included OxyContin, a Fentanyl patch and six Vicodin a day, according to the report.
The investigation suggests his erratic behavior stopped in March 2014 after trustees confronted him about it.
Staff Writer Francis X. Donnelly and the Associated Press contributed.