South Lyon City Council Members Clash Over PPO, Investigation
January 15, 2019
A heated exchange between two South Lyon City Council members took place at the end of Monday night’s meeting.
During the “council comments” segment of the meeting, Council Member Maggie Kurtzweil went after fellow Council Member Mary Parisien, attacking her credibility and motives behind requesting a Board of Ethics hearing regarding Council Member Carl Richards. Parisien obtained a personal protection order against Richards in late November after he admitted to making comments about Parisien’s sexuality, body and the way she dresses to a local business owner. Richards also reportedly bragged about looking into the windows of Parisien’s home, described it “in detail”, and made what Parisien says were “discriminatory comments about the LGBTQ community”. A police investigation resulted in no charges being filed. Kurtzweil added that by requesting a review from the board of ethics, it opens the door for Parisien to sue the city.
Kurtzweil told WHMI that by not getting a PPO immediately after hearing what Richards said and instead waiting until after the police did not find enough evidence for charges, it shows that Parisien is really only looking for a way to get Richards off the council and is not worried about her safety…
“I think it’s important for people to understand that the allegations in the PPO did not bother her that much on October 31st when she first learned of them. Her agenda has always been to remove Carl Richards from City Council.”
Parisien tells WHMI that she’s not interested in suing the city she works for and believes Kurtzweil’s anger and accusations are because she doesn’t want to lose Richards’ vote if he is kicked off the council…
“I think she’s just trying to blow this out of proportion because Carl is a vote she always has, so she needs to protect that vote in order to push her agenda. In order to do that, she needs to make sure he stays on council. So to discredit me in any way, shape or form is her goal and that’s just politics, it’s the nature of the beast. If I were to sue anyone, it’d be Carl, but that’s not in my interest. I have no interest in suing Carl, and certainly not the city. I serve the city.”
Kurtzwei defended Richards and told WHMI that she doesn't believe Parisien to be credible.
“She says she’s not going to sue, well that’s what she says today. Mary has not been truthful in the past, so her credibility on everything with this PPO is being seriously questioned. ... She demeans the Me Too movement. She demeans it because she’s not a credible individual. Everybody who knows Carl Richards in this town is not afraid of him. There are people that have lived with this man for 30-40 years and nobody is afraid of Carl. Nobody is getting the truth out about this.”
Parisien told WHMI that she was simply exercising her right to have the Board of Ethics investigate Richards...
“I came to council and said ‘hey, I got a PPO to protect myself, but council, I’m exercising my right as a politician to see if you would be willing to investigate this further'. You have a council member who is held to a higher standard and he’s speaking vulgarities and he’s thinking about me in a sexually charged way, and he’s coming to my house and looking in my windows and he’s admitting it and we’ve got witnesses. I’m showing you all these things, please look into it. Council voted for it to go forward, so the Board of Ethics is looking into it.”
The Board of Ethics will meet on January 22nd to decide Richards’ fate. (AV)