Ethics complaint filed against Macomb County Public Works Director following 7 Action News report

Posted at 6:32 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 20:20:25-04

A possible ethics violation has been filed against Macomb County Public Works Director Anthony Marrocco after a 7 Investigators story revealed Marrocco used a county facility to film a campaign TV ad on August 31st.

Marrocco calls it unfounded "political theater" brought on by his opponent in the November election Candice Miller along with what Marrocco calls her "henchman" Mark Hackel, the Macomb County Executive who has endorsed Miller. 

This is one of the most local contested races in the November eletion.

Leon Drolet, who has served as a Macomb County Commissioner and State Legislator filed the complaint because of what he saw on TV.

On the day of the filming, 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner was delayed getting inside the Chapaton sewage treatment basin and Marrocco was seen leaving out the front door.  Marrocco then said he was there to "make an ad... for my reelection."

"It’s the most clear ethics violation that I’ve ever seen anybody acknowledge," Drolet told 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner. 

Marrocco denies any wrongdoing and said any of his staff involved in the filming have done nothing wrong.  The number of his employees on site on August 31 is unclear.  Marrocco said at the time it was, "maybe two."

But in an email to 7 Investigator Jim Kiertzner, Marrocco's Chief Deputy named seven employees.  Marrocco through his assistant on Friday called that "incorrect" and said any employees who were there were on their own personal time.

The Macomb County ethics policy states: "Public servants are prohibited from engaging in political campaign activities using County property." And it goes on to say, "Public servants are prohibited from soliciting appointees and employees to work on political campaign activities using County property."

Drolet also said, "We have ethics ordinances for a reason.  That’s to prevent public officials from abusing taxpayer property as their own or to promote their own careers or their own campaigns."

Marrocco also has a second complaint filed against him from this past spring for using his county office to launch his reelection.  That is pending.

Complaints go through a hearing and can lead to a fine of $500 for each person involved.