At the meeting, Hubbard announced that an independent group known as "Let's Reclaim Dearborn" distributed an email that inaccurately lists the candidates Hubbard is endorsing and voting for in the Nov. 5 election.
"I want to set the record straight," Hubbard read from a prepared statement.
Before Hubbard could list who she was endorsing, however, Tafelski cut her off, arguing that election endorsements during a council meeting are against rules established by the Ethics Commission.
"This is political in its nature ... we have to have some decorum here," Tafelski said.
When asked for her input, Walling said she spoke with Hubbard prior to the meeting and did not find any rules that would prohibit Hubbard from talking about the election because she’s not a candidate. Walling did acknowledge that a statement endorsing candidates at a council meeting would be "highly unusual."
Following Tuesday's meeting, Tafelski told Patch he believes Walling authored the statement Hubbard was going to read and put it on her seat prior to the meeting.
'A clear violation'"I'm going to request that the Board of Ethics look into this matter because it is a clear violation if Ms. Walling wrote political speech while serving in her dual role as an employee of the city and corporation counsel for the seven-member city council," Tafelski said.
Walling said allegations that Hubbard asked her to write a statement are false.
"She did not ask me, nor did I volunteer to write anything for Nancy (Hubbard)," Walling said. "I was handed a folder as I was walking into the council chambers and I asked (City Clerk) Kathy Buda to put it where Nancy sits."
Walling said she received the envelope from Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad and does not know where it came from.
Walling acknowledged that she spoke to Hubbard several times on Tuesday after receiving the email from "Let's Reclaim Dearborn." The email claims that Hubbard was endorsing Tafelski and candidates Tarek Baydoun, Kristyn Taylor, Collette Richards, Susan Dabaja and Brian O'Donnell.
"(The email) didn't resemble anything Nancy said in the past, so I wanted to make sure it was real," Walling said. "She was very upset and told me she did not authorize the email."
'I did not tell anyone to write anything for me'Speaking with Dearborn Patch on Wednesday, Hubbard said she did provide "Let's Reclaim Dearborn" with her electronic signature after she was told that state Rep. George Darany would also be included as a co-signer on the endorsement. Hubbard said she was not told who the group would be endorsing.
In response to questions about the prepared statement she was scheduled to read Tuesday, Hubbard said she wrote it herself prior to the meeting.
"Debra Walling had nothing to do with it," she said. "I sketched out my thoughts alone at home. I did not tell anyone to write anything for me."
Tafelski said he's not convinced and wants to pursue an investigation with the city's Ethics Commission.
"I have the utmost respect for Councilwoman Hubbard serving Dearborn all these years, however the common viewer knows what happened when they watch the council video. Her statement was in the envelope that was handed to her by Ms. Walling," he said. "It just goes to show how deep the current administration will go to secure the right people on the city council."
The city's charter states: "While on duty, no political activity shall occur during working hours by public officers or employees."
"I've lost some respect for Ms. Walling's ability to do her job, and I will wait to see what the Ethics Board determines in this matter," Tafelski said.