West Bloomfield's new deputy township treasurer Jared Maynard has had his authority and pay reduced, as township officials look into a number of issues connected with the township treasurer's office.
Trustees on July 22 removed Maynard's authority to conduct bank transactions, even in the absence of township treasurer Teri Weingarden, who was out of town the day of the meeting.
Officials felt Maynard had not been thoroughly vetted before he was hired to handle the millions of dollars in the township's budget.
"I'm not prepared to authorize Mr. Maynard until we have a clean background check," trustee Lawrence Brown said.
Maynard, who last worked in the same position for Harrison Township, was hired in at a salary of more than $70,000. He told officials that "by law, through my appointment, I have the ability to act in the absence, sickness, death or other disability of the treasurer ... I understand your concern, but I do have the appropriate background to be doing this particular job."
Trustees also requested a legal opinion about whether proper paperwork was filed with Comerica Bank authorizing the treasurer and deputy treasurer to conduct banking transactions. Township supervisor Michele Economu Ureste said the bank required a separate authorization every time a new deputy treasurer was hired, which was not done.
"We never did pass board resolutions," she said. "I don't know how many people are authorized to make withdrawals from Comerica."
According to a summary of a July 23 special meeting, Weingarden has also been asked to provide more information about trips she made on Dec. 2-4, 2012 to California, and July 22-24, 2013, to Rhode Island. Both trips were connected with events held by the Opal Financial Group.
Also at that meeting, officials voted to set the deputy treasurer's salary at $40,000, a more than 40 percent reduction for Maynard.
In an interview with The Oakland Presspublished Aug. 3, Weingarden stood behind her deputy, saying Maynard has "already made process improvements that have saved us time and money.” She told the newspaper she would respond to trustees' concerns at their Aug. 26 meeting.