MAGA Chuds Running Michigan County SHOCKED At Own $4 Million Offer To Force Out Public Health Chief They Hate
Rightwing MAGA antivax chuds who won a majority last fall on the Ottawa County, Michigan, county commission are in a quandary. One of their top priorities has been getting rid of Public Health Officer Adeline Hambley for doing her job during the pandemic and treating the COVID as a serious public health threat, which only a tyrant would do. As the Daily Beast reports, the commission’s victory over Hambley seemed all sewed up, at least until the very same members of the commission who offered her $4 million to resign started rethinking it.
Hambley sued the county commission after the new majority tried earlier this year to fire her without a reason and replace her with — we are not making this up — a local HVAC contractor who had no experience working in health, public or private, apart from changing air conditioner and heater filters, which is not really on the policy side of health. Oh, also, the guy’s college degree was from an online
diploma mill very respectable institution, don’t sue us. That whole fuckjumble made for an April installment in a series of Washington Post stories (gift link) on the rightwing chaos overtaking Ottawa County, the fallout of a successful drive by a far-right group calling itself “Ottawa Impact.”
(In August, Yr Wonkette wrote about another installment in the series, regarding the commissioners’ efforts to shitcan the health department’s sex-ed expert, because Moral Panic. Here, have a gift link to that story too; I’m off for Thanksgiving week and prolly won’t be using all mine this month.)
It’s just terribly sad to know that, after offering Hambley an absolutely ginormous payout on the public dime, some of the commissioners are wondering whether they may have gone overboard in their vendetta against a public servant whose worst offense appears to have been saying that COVID was dangerous, insisting that vaccines work, and worst of all, enforcing the state’s public school mask mandates in 2020 and 2021 because they reduced the spread of early variants of COVID. The monster. As the Daily Beast explains,
In a court filing on Thursday, Hambley’s attorney Sarah Riley Howard wrote that the commissioners were trying to wriggle out of a settlement they had formally offered.
“On November 6, the parties negotiated an agreement while Defendants were in closed session in a special meeting. The parties memorialized that agreement in writing, whereby Plaintiff Hambley would leave her position as Health Officer in exchange for a payment of $4 million,” Howard wrote in the court filing. “After entering into the agreement, however, Defendant contracted a case of buyer’s remorse. Defendants now argue that there was never a binding agreement in the first place. That is legally incorrect, however.”
The filing accuses the commissioners aligned with Ottawa Impact of trying to get rid of Hambley so they can replace her with a “political crony” — the HVAC guy. In a fun detail, the $4 million golden parachute the commissioners agreed to is roughly the same amount that they axed from the Health Department’s budget earlier to punish those tyrants for doing their jobs.
Howard’s filing says that this week, the commissioners held a six and a half hour closed session, after which the commission’s attorney
“notified plaintiff’s counsel that defendants did not intend to honor the Nov. 6 agreement.”
“Defendants’ counsel claimed that they did not notify the primary or excess insurer before negotiating or agreeing to the deal, and they had since learned of potential negative consequences as a result, and so defendants wished to start again with negotiations for different terms to resolve the litigation and termination hearing,” Howard wrote.
Mmm hmmm. This is bound to only get stupider. But isn’t it something how all these moral reformers seem to have a habit of demanding “accountability” from public officials for sins like mandating masks or putting a rainbow flag on the door of a youth clinic — but if they enter into a contract they later decide was a bad idea, they’re entitled to a do-over, because, ummm, very good reasons, Amen.
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