Thursday, October 27, 2022

Treasurer suggests club withdraw endorsement

The maelstrom surrounding Sumpter Township candidate for treasurer Sheena Barnes continued last week as current Treasurer Vincent Warren suggested members of the Southwestern Wayne Democratic Club board withdraw any endorsement of her candidacy.

Barnes has admitted to police investigators that she made a heated phone call to Township Supervisor Tim Bowman. That obscenity-laced and racially explicit recorded call has been referred by the township police to another agency following an investigation and interview with Barnes. The call contains vulgar language and a physical threat to Bowman. The obscene language and hysteria of the call could only be treated as a threat, Bowman said.

The latest incident is a formal letter Warren sent to the officers of the Democratic Club for their review and states, “I recently had the opportunity to review a voice message that was deposited on an elected official’s voicemail. This voicemail unfortunately was deposited by the democratic candidate for treasurer in Sumpter Township. 

“Section 2:11 of the Michigan Democratic bylaws details endorsement and censure regarding members of this party. This candidate in my opinion has represented the democratic party with inhumane, distasteful, racial, and threatening verbal expression. The Southwestern Wayne Democratic Club has endorsed this candidate for public office. It is my hope that the SWDC for this local area respond swiftly to separate from this type of behavior. 

“As a member of Democratic party, it is my hope that the officers will look past obvious personal relationships and act swiftly to voice this unacceptable behavior and administer appropriate response,” Warren concludes.

Warren has also been the target of Barnes' criticism in her campaign for election. She has disregarded the top marks the township received on a recent independent financial audit which disproves her claims of financial irresponsibility on the part of the board members.

Bowman said the motive for the phone call may have been a letter sent to Barnes requesting that she bring permits and licensing for her business up to date. Other township officials have also expressed concern about additional health violations and lack of county health department permits at Barnes' barbeque business.

A recent website was posted in which the obscene language in the call can be heard. Barnes' opponent, Bart Patterson, has denied any involvement or knowledge of the website. 

Patterson is endorsed by all but one current member of the township board of trustees.