Do TCAPS Board Members Being Recalled Have to Comply With the Legal Defense Fund Act?

So you know how Larry Inman had to file statements of how he is paying for his legal defense, and what he filed was really crappy?

That got me thinking. Do Sue Kelly, Matt Anderson, and Pamela Forton have to comply with the Legal Defense Fund Act and also file statements of how they are paying for their legal services related to the recall petitions?

Someone posted in the TCAPS recall Facebook group this snapshot of TCAPS legal fees. They must have gotten it through FOIA. The snapshot indicates that TCAPS attorneys have spent time and billed money to taxpayers to review the recall petitions:

So what does the Legal Defense Fund Act have to say about these board members disclosing how they’re paying to fight to recall petitions?

The Legal Defense Fund Act is Michigan Compiled Laws 15.523 et seq. It does apply to Kelly, Anderson and Forton, because the only school board members exempt are school board members of districts with fewer than 2,400 students. MCL 15.525 requires the official to file a statement within 10 days of the first time that they have an expense or contribution related to the defense. There are late fees for failing to file.

You have to comply with the Legal Defense Fund Act any time you’re responding to a criminal, civil or administrative action resulting directly from your conduct in office. A recall petition would seem to meet the definition of an administrative action that results directly from conduct in office.

Here is the link to where Legal Defense Fund filings are publicly posted: Click here. Nothing for Anderson or Forton or Kelly.

Anderson has an attorney. Here is the 13th Circuit Court ledger:

So Anderson needs to file a report about how he is paying for the attorney. He should have filed a report within 10 days of making the first payment to the attorney, or within 10 days of anyone providing payment to him for the attorney.

Luyt was first active in the case on 12/6/19, so Anderson is way overdue. Since this is school related, show your work.

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4 thoughts on “Do TCAPS Board Members Being Recalled Have to Comply With the Legal Defense Fund Act?”

  1. Well, I’m sure they all think they are above the laws anyway, so my bet is they will all be saying it was just a “simple mistake” and the judges will just let it go….there’s power in the rich folks you know!

    1. As the LDF Disclosure has to be filed in both local and state level, and even if the one being recalled is using their own money, judges could not just overlook it.

  2. Is it necessary for someone to file a formal complaint to trigger a compliance review?

    What is the process for that?

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