2018-04-12 / Front Page

Decision delayed regarding investigation of city clerk

By Tanya Terry
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

BURTON — A criminal investigation has been completed by the Burton Police and Burton City Clerk Teresa Karsney has not been charged as of yet, according to John Potbury, special assistant prosecuting attorney for the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.

Potbury said the fact Karsney has also filed a civil complaint against the city is having an impact on the amount of time it’s been taking for a decision to be made concerning the criminal investigation.

“The matter has been brought to our office,” Potbury said. “There are several attorneys involved. We are having discussions with the attorneys involved and are in the process of working something out. Hopefully, it won’t be much longer before a decision is made.”

City Clerk Teresa Karsney and Deputy Clerk Racheal Ervin-Boggs were placed on administrative leave in October, after a resident made an accusation regarding a land deal Ervin-Boggs was involved in and that Karsney allegedly notarized.

“If the city of Burton decides to hire another city clerk, there would probably be litigation between the city clerk, dep- uty clerk and the city,” Potbury said. “It would be a matter for the civil court. If the city of Burton wants to spend more money on personnel, that would be up to them. There would probably be allegations of wrongful discharge or illegal firing, and that’s already going on.”

In Karsney’s complaint and jury demand against defendants Mayor Paula Zelenko and Sue Warren as human resource labor relations director, Karsney complains of violations of the Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act.

The act says an employer shall not discharge, threaten or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges of employment because the employee, or person acting on behalf of the employee reports or is about to report violation or a suspected violation of a law or regulation or rule promulgated pursuant to law of the state, a political subdivision of the state, or the United States to a public body.

This protection to employees does not include reporting when the employee knows that the report is false.

According to the complaint, Karsney claims she engaged in protected activity throughout her employment by reporting violations of laws, rules and/or regulations and/or by participating in an investigation, inquiry or hearing requested by a public body. This is said to have included reporting to public bodies that Zelenko’s carrying a concealed weapon was a violation or suspected violation of laws, rules or regulations concerning the carrying of concealed weapons. It is also said to include reporting to public bodies, including but not limited to Zelenko, that Zelenko was entering into contracts in violation or suspected violation of the Burton charter and reporting to public bodies that money was being misappropriated contrary to laws, rules and regulations.

It is said to include Karsney refusing to testify falsely at a public hearing and reporting to Zelenko and other public bodies that Zelenko and her agents, servants and employees were falsely and maliciously accusing Karsney of a crime.

The city denied any violation of the Michigan Whistleblower’s Protection Act in its answer to the plantiff’s complaint, or that Karsney was discharged or discriminated against because she engaged in any of the protected activity. Karsney claims the violations resulted in unpaid suspension, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, threats, emotional distress and mental anguish, injury to feeling, damage to reputation, attorney fees and costs and other injuries and damages. She is asking for a judgement of $100,000, and the pretrial court hearing for the civil case is scheduled for Sept. 5.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The Burton View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2018-04-12 digital edition