Roy Roberts – You’re Fired! – No More Emergency Financial Managers in Michigan

On January 9, 2013, Roy Roberts sent a letter to the members of the Detroit School Board informing them that they were in violation of Public Act 72 (a law that no longer exists). I am tired of Governor Snyder, AG Bill Schuette, and the supposedly “appointed” Emergency Financial Managers continuing to ignore Michigan Laws and using a non-existent law to justify the gutting of our cities and school systems. I answered Mr. Roberts and faxed my response to his office this morning. I will be addressing (and summarily firing) all other EFMs in the near future. We need to start standing up and taking back the control of our communities and schools. Enough is enough.

This is the letter Mr. Roberts sent to the school board:

January 9, 2013

Dear Detroit Public Schools Staff:

Many of you may have recently received communication from Interim Superintendent Dr. John Telford regarding the reassignment of current district personnel or the appointment of individuals to newly created positions within Detroit Public Schools.

Let me be clear, the personnel actions taken by the Board were made in direct violation of Public Act 72, which states that only the Emergency Financial Manager may: 1) negotiate, approve and enter into contracts on behalf of the school district; and 2) create a new position, or approve or disapprove the creation of any new position or the filling of a vacancy in a permanent position by an appointing authority.

You should, therefore, be advised that today I disapproved all personnel contracts/appointments made by the Board (with the exception of Dr. John Telford as Interim Superintendent) and have asked that the individuals filling these illegally appointed positions be removed from district premises.

Please disregard any such email that you may have received regarding these personnel matters, and contact your immediate supervisor or administrator if any of these unauthorized persons disrupt your work day.

We are seeing great outcomes as a result of everyone’s laser focus on ensuring that teaching and learning is taking place in our schools. Please don’t let your efforts to educate our 50,000 students be sidetracked by this unnecessary distraction.

Roy S. Roberts
Emergency Financial Manager

This is my response to Mr. Roberts:

Dear Mr. Roberts,

    You wrote a letter to the staff of Detroit Public Schools on January 9, 2013, regarding a communication from John Telford, Interim Superintendent, about the appointment of individuals to newly created positions within the DPS. You stated that the personnel actions taken by the elected board “were made in direct violation of Public Act 72”. You prefaced that paragraph with the words, “Let me be clear…”


    Apparently, the governor doesn’t have the gonads to tell you that your job actually got placed in suspension back in August of 2012, and you were terminated on November 6, 2012 when the citizens of this state repealed PA-4 of 2011. You see, we have these neat things in Michigan called the Michigan Compiled Laws and we must all abide by them, including Governor Snyder, AG Bill Schuette, and all persons, such as yourself, appointed to positions within the state. I’m going to explain how this works so that anyone with a sixth grade education can understand it. I’m not a lawyer – I’m just a mom – so I’m real good at explaining things for children.

    Let me be clear – this is the chain of events that brought us to this point. Governor Snyder signed a series of bills on March 16, 2011 that became Public Act 4 of 2011. One of the provisions of PA-4 completely repealed PA-72 of 1990. Specifically, to quote from the second to last line of PA-4: “Enacting Section 1. The local government fiscal responsibility act, 1990 PA 72, MCL 141.1201 to 141.1291, is repealed.” That means, in simple English, that as soon as Governor Snyder signed PA-4 into law, PA-72 of 1990 ceased to exist.

    As you know, the citizens of Michigan weren’t very fond of the PA-4 law. We referred to it as the Emergency Dictator Law. We formed a coalition and gathered signatures in order to put the law on the ballot for a vote which is allowed because it is in our Constitution. That took some doing, but we did manage it and the citizens voted to repeal the law on November 6, 2012. That left you unemployed, but apparently you didn’t get that memo. For some reason, Governor Snyder and AG Bill Schuette think that they can ignore some of those pesky Michigan Compiled Laws. I am referring to MCL 8.4, which states: “Whenever a statute, or any part thereof shall be repealed by a subsequent statute, such statute, or any part thereof, so repealed, shall not be revived by the repeal of such subsequent repealing statute.” I’m not a lawyer – I’m just a mom – but that seems pretty plain and straightforward to me.  

    Just about anyone in the state who knows how to read knows that you are fraudulently collecting a paycheck and that Governor Snyder and AG Bill Schuette are allowing that to happen with their insistence that PA-72 came back from the dead. Let me be clear – this is NOT the Zombie Apocalypse and PA-72 is dead, buried, and cannot, legally, rise from the dead. Therefore, you are unemployed and you need to make arrangements to repay the City of Detroit all monies you received illegally from August 8, 2012 to date.

Marion Townsend
January 13, 2013

By ignoring our laws and refusing to step down, Roy Roberts is committing fraud and is stealing from the city of Detroit. This is being allowed, and even encouraged by Governor Snyder and AG Bill Schuette. Because Snyder and Schuette are lawyers, they really do know better. Tell them it is time to stop the BS and get rid of all the Emergency Financial Managers in this state.

as posted By VLTP Facebook member Marion Townsend at