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AFL-CIO President Confirms Support for Clerk Candidate

Challenger Neha Patel refutes incumbent's claim of misleading public in Patch interview.

A late-arriving endorsement and a website not being updated with the latest information is to blame for a situation leading to candidates trading barbs prior to the Aug. 7 primary.

As a challenger to the incumbent Cathy Shaughnessy, Neha Patel claimed in an interview with Patch which published Tuesday to be  based in Metro Detroit.

However, list of endorsements on detroitaflcio.org did not indicate endorsements for Patel or any other candidate for the Township Board of Trustees at the time the story on Patch was published.

Shaughnessy pointed out the error in a press release Tuesday, claiming to have called the AFL-CIO office with a negative response to the question of whether Patel had been endorsed.

"The Township Clerk runs every election in the community and must be honest," Shaughnessy wrote. "My opponent’s claim about receiving the AFL-CIO endorsement demonstrates poor judgment and questionable integrity. ... She has misled voters."

Patel told Patch in reply that she feels "tired of the negative press."

"I'm a good citizen, I'm running to have change in West Bloomfield so we don't have these politics," she said. "It's time we hear positive things about the township."

On Tuesday afternoon, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis indicated support for Patel, along with incumbents Michele Economou Ureste, Teri Weingarden, and Steven Kaplan, running again as Supervisor, Treasurer, and Trustee, respectively.

"We made the endorsement probably 1-2 weeks ago, and I just e-mailed them to let them know," Michalakis said. "We were just late in the process."

"We think that they're the best choices to represent working families in West Bloomfield and they seem committed to working for working people."

For more on the 2012 election in West Bloomfield, visit its Topic Page on Patch.

Ronelle Grier July 25, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I'm not sure what makes this a news story. The union's records were incorrect; the clerk looked at their website and spoke to a representative on the phone, who confirmed that Patel was not endorsed. Later the union admitted their records were not current, and their endorsement was updated. Sounds like a clerical error made by a large organization, not breaking news.
Mark Scott July 25, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Shaughnessy's unprofessional comments warrant an apology to Neha Petal. The Clerk should know that damaging information about an individual from a website that may or may not be updated should be checked and double checked. She should be embarrassed.
Ronelle Grier July 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
The comments were made in a press release; they were not made to Patel. Once the reporter ascertained that the comments were based on incorrect information that the union supplied, this "story" should have ended there. There was no need to make this a media issue and inflame the conflicts that already exist. I am a member of the press; it is our job to report the news, not create it. As I said before, in my view, this was not news. Of course information should be checked and double-checked, but in this case that was done. A union employee who claimed to be in authority confirmed by phone the information that was already displayed on the web site. I'm not sure how much more due diligence could have been performed. And how do you know that the clerk is not embarrassed, or that an apology has not been issued? This story was written to "stir the pot;" the readers were not made privy to what occurred after the mistake was discovered.
TMorse July 29, 2012 at 05:17 PM
How can a measly clerk position pay 106k a year ? This is where everyone should be furious ! How about 50k and NO pension ? Should a clerk make more than a teacher or policeman ? No way ! Pay them like the school children that they are and act like ! If that job disappeared tomorrow, it wouldnt be missed, and maybe a few others would have to work a little bit harder ! Come on - this is crazy ! Vote in new salaries and benefits, wht NO pensions ! That way, those that rally want to help, will.

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