DETROIT (WXYZ) - Conrad Mallett is a top executive with the Detroit Medical Center and a power broker in city politics. Failing to pay personal property taxes to the city of Detroit has put him in the public spotlight.
“The bottom line is here that I made a mistake,” Mallett told 7 Action News.
Mallett is a former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court and served as chairman of Mike Duggan’s election campaign for Mayor.
In July of 2012, Mallett purchased a 7,600 square foot brick home in Detroit’s exclusive Palmer Wood subdivision. The home had served as the parsonage for Rev. Jim Holley, pastor of Little Rock Baptist Church, so it was tax-exempt.
“At closing I should have done a better job of making sure the property transfer affidavit was filed, I did not,” Mallett said.”
Mallett said his real estate agent was supposed to file the required affidavit with the city but that never happened. Mallett recently became aware of the problem and contacted the city.
Gary Evanko, the city’s chief assessor, said Mallett filed the affidavit a week or two ago.
Mallett bought the brick home for $320,000.
“We bought the house, we went to a traditional mortgage closing,” Mallett said. “We have a mortgage from Comerica Bank, it includes an escrow for property taxes and it includes an escrow for home insurance.”
But the money never got from the escrow to the city of Detroit. Evanko said Mallett owes tax on the home for 2013, along with interest and penalties. The amount is estimated to be in excess of $10,000.
“I’m a public figure, I have a responsibility to be sure that I’m in full compliance with the rules and regulations,” said Mallett. "I assumed I was. I made a mistake. The mistake has been rectified. I take full responsibility and I will be in full compliance as soon as the tax bill comes.”
Evanko said a reassessment of the value of Mallett’s home is being done and the tax bill for 2014 will be sent later this month.