FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Highland Park, Michigan. On September 11th MorningSide Board Member Scotty Boman Accused incumbent 4th District Police Commissioner Bell of abusing his authority at last Wednesday’s meeting of the 5th Precinct Police-Community Relations Council. Boman is challenging Bell for the Fourth District Police Commissioner spot in Detroit’s Municipal election. He made the Comments while appearing as a Guest on the WHPR TV Show “Get Up Stand Up”. This follows similar remarks, Boman made during the citizen comment portion of Thursdays Detroit Board of Police Commissioner (BOPC) meeting, and a formal complaint submitted to the Detroit Inspector General.
At the Commissioner meeting Boman asked if it was appropriate for an elected official to assert the authority, as such, to over-ride the rules of an independent body. According to Boman, Bell was allotted two minutes to speak at the 5th Precinct Police-Community Relations Council, rather than recognizing the Chairman’s authority, he asserted his “right” as a public official to speak longer. According to Boman. Bell, over the chairs objection, spent at least 5 minutes arguing why he was entitled to more time before addressing the other issue at hand.
Boman said, “I found this to be an abuse of power by an elected official because he felt his position entitled him to over-ride the procedures of an independent group. He less directly re-asserted such privilege when I confronted him on the matter during the public comment portion of the BOPC meeting on Thursday September 7th.”
Boman also accused Bell of waving around a campaign brochure proclaiming it was years in the making. The Police-Community Relations Council rules expressly forbid political campaigning by their speakers. Boman also said the brochure lacked the mandatory campaign finance disclosure statement. This was also addressed at Thursday’s BOPC meeting.
At the BOPC meeting, Boman asked who paid for the brochure. Boman said, “He argued that it was a Police Commission brochure, not a campaign brochure, and that I should know the difference. When I attempted to ask him to tell me what that difference was, he cut me off and said, ‘You don’t have the mic’ though he no longer chaired those meetings. He only made vague references to ‘We’ spent years on those pamphlets, without saying who ‘we’ were.”
Boman’s complaint to the Detroit Inspector General asserts that, “Fourth District Police Commissioner Willie Bell, has been distributing a brochure that lacks any disclosure of a funding source.” Boman went on to say, “If public funds were used, I view this as an even greater transgression, in that public funds should not be used for individual campaigns, that their use was not disclosed on the item, and the board had not approved such disbursements as a whole.”