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Lawsuit challenging David Coulter's appointment as Oakland Co. executive to move forward

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Posted at 7:58 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 11:15:41-04

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Oakland County Republicans took their case to a judge to challenge the new Oakland County executive appointment.

The lawsuit, filed by Oakland County GOP Chairman Andrew "Rocky" Raczkowski, seeks to remove Oakland County Commissioner David Woodward from the board. The lawsuit would then, subsequently, void the appointment of David Coulter as Wayne County executive and prompt a special election.

Woodward initially resigned in a bid to be appointed to fill the vacancy left by the death of L. Brooks Patterson. However, he later rescinded the resignation and cast a vote to name Coulter as Patterson's replacement.

Lawyers representing both Woodward and Coulter argued that Michigan law makes it clear – for a public official to resign, the board has to first accept the resignation. The Oakland County board did not accept Woodward's resignation. Once he stepped back into the spot, the commissioners voted 11 to 10 to appoint Coulter.

“It took 25 years for Brooks Patterson and his leadership team to build up Oakland County and it only took 2 weeks for David Woodward to tear down that reputation," Raczkowski said.

On Wednesday, the judge gave a stern warning to both Oakland County Democrats and Republicans.

"Good luck, either one of you, trying to enlist the judiciary as your patsy," said Judge Daniel O'Brien.

In the end, he ruled the case will move forward, but that the case will "stand in line with everybody else."