WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - A building on the border of West Bloomfield Township and Farmington Hills is surrounded by a lot of controversy.
Eagle Elementary School belonged to the Farmington Public Schools until it was sold to the Islamic Cultural Association. That is where the controversy begins.
Attorney Erin Mersino with the Thomas More Law Center told 7 Action News there was never a “for sale” sign posted outside of the building. There were several groups interested in buying the building including a Jewish parochial school, an autistic special needs school, and the Light of the World Christian Center church.
“I was being discouraged from doing that,” said the church’s pastor Bruce Burwell. “I couldn’t understand in this economic time. The Farmington Hills School District or any school in America are under distressed times. If someone is interested in buying a building, why would they be discouraged?”
“Why would they conduct a sale of property in secret as opposed to having it in public meeting as the Attorney General’s opinion states it must be done?” said Mersino. “That’s why we are asking for an investigation of these matters.”
Mersino is asking Attorney General Bill Schuette to do some digging in this case.
She suspects there was some type of hidden agenda behind the deal or that the I.C.A. intimidated the school district into selling to them.
“Not true what so ever,” said school spokesperson, Diane Bauman.
The district reissued a statement they released in June. They maintain, “This appears to be another effort by the same group of individuals which has already tried to stop the sale of Eagle Elementary school through litigation and lost.”
“We believe that the school district followed the proper procedures for the sale,” said I.C.A. board member Dr. Firas Nashef. “The sale was transparent as far as we know. We have our legal team and their legal team approval of that.”
Dr. Nashef told 7 Action News the group just wants to serve the community.
“This is an opportunity for us to grow the community, grow the activities… basically cater for the families in the area,” said Dr. Nashef.
Dr. Nashef said a meeting was held last week with the community to talk about the future of the building and answer questions.
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