WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – The elected clerk of Scio Township will continue her legal battle against the rest of the township board, even after suffering a defeat in Washtenaw County court.
On Monday, Oct. 17, Clerk Jessica Flintoft appealed an order dismissing a lawsuit she filed alleging that her colleagues have illegally limited her authority under Michigan law, stonewalling her efforts to remedy what she says is a critically understaffed township financial team.
After a hearing on Sept. 21, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Timothy Connors sided with the township board, saying he saw no legal basis to vacate two township resolutions Flintoft argues prevents her from doing her job, or grant other relief the clerk requested.
Read more: ‘None of my business’: Judge dismisses Scio Township clerk’s lawsuit against board
Flintoft has now brought the case before the Michigan Court of Appeals, where it is currently pending.
“The decision to appeal was easy on principle, notwithstanding the financial hardship it puts on me,” she said in a statement, adding the trial court in its decision had misinterpreted a township clerk‘s “custody” of township records under Michigan law, central to her legal arguments.
“The decision implicates constitutional, statutory and preexisting case law and, perhaps most importantly, implicates important separation of powers safeguards,” she said. “As it stands, the circuit court’s decision permits a township employee under the direction of the board to share custody of the books, records, and papers of the township and to either directly manipulate or assign authority to others to manipulate the township’s journals and ledgers without knowledge or input by the clerk, Contrary to law.”
Scio Township Supervisor Will Hathaway, who has clashed with Flintoft in public meetings over the issues raised her lawsuit, said he expected township attorneys would continue to defend