In a press release issued by Tafelski, the city council candidate said he is asking Michigan Attorney General William Schuette to investigate whether a violation took place prior to the council's Oct. 8 meeting.
Tafelski specifically named Debra Walling, who he believes authored a statement for Councilwoman Nancy Hubbard to read endorsing certain council candidates running in the Nov. 5 election.
Hubbard had planned to read the statement at the end of the council's meeting to clarify an email circulated online from the group Let's Reclaim Dearborn. The email included Hubbard's electronic signature and her endorsement of Tafelski and candidates Tarek Baydoun, Kristyn Taylor, Collette Richards, Susan Dabaja and Brian O'Donnell.
Before she could address the email, Tafelski cut her off, citing rules of decorum for city government meetings.
After the meeting, Hubbard said she did not authorize the endorsement of the candidates, however she did support other issues that the group advocates for — including funding for libraries and pools.
Mark Lane, co-organizer of Let's Reclaim Dearborn!, said he spoke to Hubbard numerous times and received her approval prior to sending out the flyer.
'A glaring breach of ethics'Tafelski said he has reason to believe Walling and other members of Mayor John B. O'Reilly's administration wrote what Hubbard was going to say at the meeting, a fact that both Hubbard and Walling deny.
Walling maintains that she was handed an envelope from Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad prior to the council meeting and placed it on Hubbard's desk without knowing its contents.
"It's pretty clear from audio and video of the Oct. 8 meeting that Ms. Walling provided Ms. Hubbard, at her city council chambers seat, an envelope containing a statement regarding political activity, and more specifically contained verbiage, compelling Ms. Hubbard to violate—without her consent—the city charter of Dearborn," Tafelski said.
Section 3.5 of the charter states:
"An officer or employee may not personally, or through an agent, command, coerce, or attempt to coerce any person holding a position in the classified service of the city, to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for the benefit of a person seeking or holding public elected office or for the purpose of furthering or defeating a proposed law, ballot question or other measure that may be submitted to a vote of the electors."
Tafelski said the complaint normally would have been filed with the city’s Board of Ethics, but the board is overseen by the Law Department, of which Walling is the department head.
He said he respects Hubbard's years of service to the residents of Dearborn, which is why he found glaring issues with her actions on Oct. 8.
"I admire the public service of retiring Councilwoman Nancy Hubbard and cannot take serious issue with the remarks she started to make, considering the very difficult position she was placed in. She has, in fact, for more than 60 years, been on the front lines of helping build a great community as a volunteer, city employee and an elected official," he said in a written statement.
"In direct contrast to her efforts, this violation of the city charter reveals a glaring breach of ethics and an attempt to politicize the conduction of business on behalf of the people of Dearborn."