Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 21, 2014

Acme treasurer resigns, claims improprieties

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Connie Collett resigned her position as Acme Township’s treasurer over concerns board members ignored what she considers financial irregularities, improprieties, and “possibly illegal” activities.

Collett submitted her resignation to the township board during a special meeting Thursday afternoon. Collett contends the township clerk’s office has not followed proper accounting practices, standards, or regulations.

“Over the past several months I have become aware of a variety of financial irregularities, some of which have the appearance of impropriety and others of which are clearly improper and possibly illegal,” Collett wrote in her single-page resignation letter. “What is clear, however, is that I find myself in a position where I can no longer safeguard our citizens’ dollars not to mention pass an audit without material findings.”

Collett said township board members have been unresponsive to her concerns.

Township Clerk Cathy Dye was on vacation and unavailable to comment.

Jay Zollinger, township supervisor, said Collette’s resignation came as a surprise.

“There have been some accusations of things, but nothing of that has been proven out that I’m aware of,” Zollinger said. “We just went through an audit and the audit was pretty good.”

Collette said the township failed the audit and had to respond to questions from the state Department of Treasury.

Zollinger termed the inquiries “typical questions” from state officials that subsequently were answered.

Collette declined to provide details of her concerns.

“I’m putting together a packet of materiel to send to the state Department of Treasury,” Collette said. “I’d rather the Department of Treasury take a look before I say anything more one way or the other.”

Dye and Collett have been at odds for months over accounting practices and the township’s continued employment of bookkeeper Dennis Drennan. Dye wants to retain Drennan, while Collette wanted him replaced.

“The internal accounting position has been somewhat of a contentious issue,” Zollinger said.

Collett said her resignation will take effect April 8 so voters can choose a replacement to fill out the remaining two years of her term. Township board members appointed Dye, and her position also will appear on the November ballot. The deadline to file for either position as a Republican or Democrat is April 22.