PM Township forensic report finds no wrong-doing; supervisor, treasurer to seek legal action

June 13, 2023

PM Township forensic report finds no wrong-doing; supervisor, treasurer to seek legal action

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — A forensic audit has determined that there is no evidence of fraud, waste or abuse by the Pere Marquette Charter Township government. During the township board of trustees’ monthly meeting today, June 13, representatives from Plante Moran Financial Advisors presented their findings. 

Auditors looked at township financial records from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2022 with detailed testing of transactions from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 21, 2022. The audit was performed after accusations of mismanagement have been made against Treasurer Karie Bleau, who was elected in 2020 and took office in January 2021. 

A recall effort is underway against Bleau. Recall petition language states: “Karie Bleau has demonstrated the inability to accurately administer water billing for multiple accounts which is her responsibility. Her refusal to rectify these inaccuracies caused a loss in revenue in excess of $20,000.”

Recall efforts have been attempted as well against Karie Bleau’s husband, Jerry, who serves as the elected supervisor. 

In response to the recall efforts, the Bleaus are seeking legal action. They submitted a joint statement to the Board of Trustees during today’s meeting.

“Karie and I have engaged legal counsel to explore slander/defamation claims against several individuals who insist on spreading inaccurate, incomplete or false information regarding our integrity, having nothing to do with the performance of the jobs we were elected to perform,” the statement reads. “We believe, as public officials, we are accountable to the public. But in no way is our accountability a license to smear lies and falsehoods over social media and in other public forums. We will no longer entertain questions or get involved in discussions that involve issues questioning our character, honesty, or our ability to serve as public officials. We will continue performing the jobs we were elected to perform, while the facts as well as the ill intent of the individuals is addressed in the proper forum. This decision will not impact our continued engagement with the public and our ability to address issues that need our attention within the scope of each of our elected functions.” 

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