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Genoa board censures clerk, denies her chance to speak

After refusing her an opportunity to defend herself, the Genoa Township Board on Monday passed a resolution censuring Clerk Polly Skolarus.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, chided Skolarus for “official misconduct and willful neglect of duty,” and that her conduct had been “needlessly confrontational and demeaning behavior, lack of decorum, and several occasions of complete disregard of State Law and of Township’s procedures, norms and rules.” Skolarus abstained from the vote.

A previous resolution demanded Skolarus resign by November 7, and when she did not, the board directed the township’s attorney to prepare the censure, which stripped her of all non-statutory duties and employees from her office and required her to only communicate with management and employees in writing or in the presence of a member of township management.

Several times at Monday’s meeting, Skolarus asked to present information concerning the allegations, which she said were based on hearsay and innuendo, but was refused because she had not given proper notice to appear on the agenda.

Skolarus, who has been the township clerk since 1986, was re-elected to a four-year term in November of 2020.

In a statement to GIGO News, Skolarus said she had spent 36 years, “caring for Genoa Township and making sure that we retained the natural God-Given beauty of our community.   I am so thankful to the voters who honored me by electing me nine times during my tenure.  I will not turn in a letter of resignation based on HEAR/SAY.  If the board was truly interested in the truth, they would have conducted a forensic audit instead of holding a Kangaroo Court.”

Genoa Township Polly Skolarus

In April, a Livingston County jury acquitted her on a misdemeanor charge of Election Law – Failure to Perform Duty that had been filed against her after an investigation by Michigan State Police determined unapproved canvas bags had been used to store excess absentee ballots used in the November 2020 election.

At the time, Skolarus said the verdict was not just a victory for her “but for all clerks who as election officials should not have to be afraid of prosecution when doing their job.”

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