Oct. 3 2018 12:00 AM

Louney’s resignation creates vacancy in 1st Ward

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 — Lansing Mayor Andy Schor is vetting a candidate for the Board of Water & Light board to replace Dennis Louney, who resigned amid allegations of campaign finance violations.


“I hope to have this person through vetting and to Council this week,” Schor said today. The candidate would represent the 1st Ward, which is the east side.


Louney resigned in August at the same time he quit the Ingham County Board of Commissioners after he was defeated for the Democratic nomination to serve a full two-year term. The board had appointed him to serve out the term of Brian McGrain after he accepted a post in the Schor adminsitration.


Schor was going to reappoint Louney to the BWL board, but he changed his mind after one of his political opponents, Thomas Morgan, revealed that Louney had allegedly abused his county email by using it for campaign purposes. Morgan won the Democratic nomination and was apppinted to fill out Louney’s term till Jan. 1 after Louney stepped down.


Schor said “concerns” about “allegations of a breach of public trust” forced him to reevaluate reappointing Louney.


County Clerk Barb Byrum said Louney repeatedly used his taxpayer-funded email address to illegally solicit donations and endorsements, promote fundraisers and form campaign strategies ahead of the August primary election.


The state’s Bureau of Elections has also yet to make any final determinations regarding the campaign finance accusations, which could result in hefty fines.


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This story was corrected to accurately reflect the term length for Ingham County commissioners.