Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 8 of ?

It's time to clear the air.

It sometimes happens that people are put in bad spots, almost impossible positions. "Lie or you lose your job." You don't want to lie, but you can't afford to lose your job either. That's a difficult situation. Maybe you make the wrong choice. We all make bad decisions at some point. The question is, can it be rectified?

Personal and public redemption are two different things, but they also complement each other. Personal redemption is more important, by far. You becoming okay with you, the decisions you've made and the actions you've taken, nothing's more important than that. And violating the public trust, that's a big issue.

Here is a statement from U.S. President Grover Cleveland in a speech titled "Good Citizenship".

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...toleration in all things save dishonesty and infidelity to the public trusts.

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I'm not sure the public trust can be restored after something like what has happened, but I think the attempt should be made. I think it will be a hard road to personal redemption, but it should be walked. I think that there is one clear path that may be able to start both of these journeys.

I know that trustee Hess posted that he had been told the township wasn't suing Hidden Creek Farm. I've been told that trustee Hiner might have been deceived. I've heard people say that they are amazed Grabinski would be a part of something like this, even conjecture that coercion must have been used. And there are others. I do not know these people, and I cannot know what happens in secret meetings and discussions at the township, but I know that they are in a tough position. There are no easy answers. But here is a good option, a hard option, but a good option: write an affidavit.

If they have been lied to, or deceived, or kept in the dark, or coerced, then they have been wronged and deserve to pursue justice for those wrongs as well, and forgiveness for any sins of commission or omission that they may have fallen into along the way. An affidavit can allow for both.

An affidavit is a voluntary sworn statement of fact. What might this look like?

There is a certain format for affidavits, but the basic idea is that you identify yourself, you write in the first person, and you tell facts.

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I, Jane Doe, swear that the information in this statement is truthful and accurate.

On May X I was told by Y that Dalton Township had not filed a lawsuit against Hidden Creek Farm.

On May Z I found out that a lawsuit had been filed by Dalton Township against Hidden Creek Farm on a date preceding my initial inquiry.

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There would be more, but that's the basic idea. That one just concerns being lied to, but other things that could be covered are: being told or ordered to lie to others, participating in or being aware of secret meetings in violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act (including round-the-horn sessions where individual calls are made to the board members for decisions), being aware of the plan to thwart due process and thus deceive the judge into making an initial judgment against the defendants, not releasing the meeting minutes at the time designated in the Open Meetings Act, etc.

These are particular legal and moral violations. That's a good start to personal, professional, and public redemption. The best that I can think of.

It would also make sense to make the obvious statements about Hidden Creek Farm. "In the last five years of operation there have been no problems that I've been aware of with any part of Hidden Creek Farm's operation." Something along those lines.

I've been thinking hard about what I would do if I was in one of these positions, and it's hard to truly know. I've been stuck on mountain cliffs, passed out in the desert alone, and left for dead while vomiting blood in Africa, I know that under pressure it's hard to know what the right decision is sometimes. I also survived all of those situations after making hard and difficult decisions that I was unsure about at the time.

If I was in this situation, I would write the affidavit.


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