Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has directed his staff to prepare a petition asking the Circuit Court to impanel a one man grand jury to investigate whether Jason Bauer and others behind the dubious Tea Party candidate filings committed any crimes such as perjury, election fraud, misconduct in office, uttering and/or publishing and obstruction of justice.
The petition is expected to be filed in Oakland County Circuit Court this week.
"There are people who would subvert the political process to their own ends, and will engage in criminal activity to undermine the system and achieve their nefarious goals," said Patterson.
If the petition is approved by the Circuit Court, the judges will impanel one of their own to sit as the one man grand jury for a limited time to determine whether a crime was committed when Jason Bauer notarized and filed fraudulent candidate papers on behalf of questionable "Tea Party" candidates.
A one man grand jury has broad powers including the issuance of subpoenas, granting of immunity to witnesses, holding witnesses in contempt, and at the conclusion, issue indictments. As with all grand juries, the inquiry is conducted in secret for the duration the grand jury is impaneled.
Based on recent information, Patterson says he believes the case against Bauer is strong. Here is an outline of the allegations:
- Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Ruth Johnson announced Friday, August 20th, that she uncovered a fraudulent "Tea Party" candidate filing for county commissioner under the name of Aaron William Tyler which was notarized by Jason Bauer. Tyler notified Johnson that he never filed to run for office nor knew what it was all about. Two days after Johnson’s announcement, the Oakland County Democratic Party forced Bauer to resign his executive post with the party.
- Bauer apparently notarized the candidate filings of two other questionable "Tea Party" candidates in Oakland County.
- Michigan Capitol Confidential outlined their investigation into possible illegitimate "Tea Party" candidate filings in an article published July 28th. They uncovered nine questionable “Tea Party” candidate filings from around Michigan notarized by Bauer.
- County Commissioner Shelley Taub revealed a scheme by Bauer in 2009 to influence a sensitive local healthcare program debate. While the issue was before the commissioners, Taub received a letter from a woman claiming to be a West Bloomfield mother whose child was sick and whose husband lost his job. She said she needed the program to help pay for the care of her very ill child. Taub arranged for private physicians to treat the child for free, only to discover through detective work the so-called mother was a sophomore at the University of Michigan living in Roseville and interning for Bauer at the Oakland County Democratic Party at the time. The return address in West Bloomfield was the mother of a childhood friend of Bauer who was unaware that her address was used in this manner.
- Bauer, 26, a Waterford resident, appears to share a home address with Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGinnis. Using Bauer's address on his candidate application, McGinniss filed to run for county commissioner in Waterford.
"It is unknown at this time whether Bauer was acting alone, or whether others are involved in these dubious 'Tea Party' candidate filings," Patterson said. "But a one man grand jury has broad powers to get to the bottom of this fraudulent election scheme."
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