Oct. 14 2015 11:30 AM

Third Ward candidate’s claims don’t hold up

Campaign claims by A’Lynne Boles, the two-term incumbent Councilwoman in Lansing’s Third Ward, are raising questions about her veracity.

Boles sent a mailer last week to absentee voters in which she claims to have “established the Southside Community Center.” She made a similar claim in a letter to the editor of City Pulse as well.

However, public records show Boles did not serve on the Southside Community Center Ad Hoc Committee in 2006, nor was she on City Council when the body approved the establishment of the center at Harry Hill School on Wise Road. In fact, public records show Boles attempted to derail the development of the center at Hill.

WILX reported on Dec. 7, 2007, that she and former First Ward Councilman Eric Hewitt testified before the Lansing School Board about the pending agreement between the two bodies for the center. There she asked the board to delay approval of the agreement until newly elected officials for both bodies —including herself — could take office on Jan. 1, 2008.

And when the center proposal was before the City Council on Dec. 17, 2007, minutes show she opposed the proposal in public comments.

"A’Lynne Robinson of 2515 Victor Ave. stated concerns with having the South Side Community Center at the Hill Center and the future of the building," the minutes reflect. Boles went by her then husband’s name.

“As a councilmember, I was proud to have voted with my colleagues for financing the construction of the Southside Community Center on April 21, 2008,” Boles said in a lengthy statement to City Pulse. “Just as the initial vote in December 2007 was important for its establishment so was the vote to fund the project with a budget transfer. In every budget cycle since its establishment, I have voted for funding the vital programming and activities that occur there.”

She acknowledged she had “questioned” the center as a councilwoman-elect.

“As a newly elected councilmember, I thought that I should have the opportunity to deliberate and ultimately vote on the proposal to locate the center at the former Hill Academy, a momentous decision that would affect my constituents for many years,” she wrote. “I have always supported the need for a community center to serve South Lansing residents.”

Boles called City Pulse publisher Berl Schwartz last week to demand a retraction on a story that reported she and First Ward Councilwoman Jody Washington were the nay votes on a 2012 resolution to pay for a full-page advertisement in the souvenir program for a fundraising event for the sorority Delta Sigma Theta. That group gives out about $50,000 in scholarships to minority students each year.

In her demand for a retraction, Boles claimed she put the motion for the advertisement forward and then recused herself from the vote because she was a member of the organization.

However, City Council minutes for the City Council Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 19 show City Councilwoman At- Large Carol Wood put the resolution forward and that Boles opposed it.

“Councilmember Robinson questioned if all future advertisements will be expected to come out of individual accounts as there are numerous advertisement throughout the year,” the minutes of the meeting reflect. “She will not be supporting an advertisement this time.”

As to Boles’ claim she sought and received a recusal from the vote, minutes from the Committee of the Whole on Jan. 19 and the general Council meeting on Jan. 23 do not reflect any such request. Nor is a vote to approve such a request reflected in the minutes. Such recusals require a vote of the Council.

Additionally, City Clerk Chris Swope said he has “no notes or records” to reflect such a recusal was sought or given.

These revelations are just the latest in a string of issues that have arisen for Boles this election. She has paid a significant amount of her fundraising monies to the county clerk for late filing fees, has had a series of debt-related lawsuits which resulted in her paychecks being garnished and is being sued for fraud by the criminal defense firm Grabel and Associates, as well as being sued by a credit union for unpaid overdraft fees.

When asked about the debt-related suits, which came to light last month, Boles first said she did not know of them even though her wages were being garnished as recently as 2013 over one of them. She later acknowledged them.