Freman Hendrix at Charter Commission meeting 8 10 10

By Ken Whitaker of Detroit IQ

Greektown Casino Representative Freman Hendrix submitted his letter of resignation earlier this month from the Detroit Charter Commission because it would be a conflict of interest to serve the Greektown Casino AND the people of the city of Detroit simultaneously. Now he has called a special meeting of the Detroit Charter Commission for TODAY, August 31, 2010 to vote on his own replacement. If there are gaming laws and conflicts of interest that prevent Freman Hendrix from serving on the Detroit Charter Commission, is it appropriate for him to vote on his replacement? He cannot have it both ways! Either he is IN or he is OUT.
Freman Hendrix has already stated he is a member of the Greektown Casino. He says he is currently the “eyes and ears of Detroit” on the Casino Board.
Commissioner Ken Coleman, an expert in public policy and diligent educator of the citizens, recently posted on Facebook, ‘DETROIT CHARTER FACT: “The [Charter] commission may fill a vacancy in its membership.”‘
So I ask my fellow citizens some very important questions:
  1. If Freman Hendrix is a voting member of the Charter Commission, how is there a vacancy to fill?
  2. If Freman Hendrix submitted a letter of resignation why is he allowed to vote, as a Charter Commissioner, in a special election to replace himself?
  3. Does the Michigan Gaming Control Board, who oversees Freman Hendrix’s appointment to the Greektown Casino Board of Directors, approve of Freman Hendrix voting on his “replacement” to serve on the Detroit Charter Commission?
  4. Is this legal?
  5. Is this ethical?
Detroit STAND UP!!!
This OUR city and if WE don’t police it, who will? Contact your Michigan Gaming Control Board Members. Contact your Detroit Charter Commissioners. Contact information is listed below.

Ask them if they approve of Freman Hendrix voting on his own replacement and his continued participation and influence on the Detroit Charter Commission as the commission prepares to rewrite the Constitution of the City of Detroit. Ask them if this is legal and/or ethical. Share the responses you get. 

 What is the Michigan Gaming Control Board? 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board licenses and regulates the Detroit commercial casinos and their suppliers. The Board also oversees the Michigan Native American casinos.

 Michigan Gaming Control Board
3062 West Grand Blvd., L-700
Detroit, MI  48202-6062
Telephone:  (313) 456-4100 Fax:  (313) 456-4200     

 Michigan Gaming Control Board Members 

 MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm, (313) 456-4100  Appointed on May 10, 2007. Kalm has an extensive background in law enforcement, previously serving as chief of staff for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to becoming chief of staff, he served as deputy sheriff, lieutenant, sergeant, corporal, captain and division commander. Kalm received an associate degree in law enforcement and a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University. He is also a graduate of the Michigan Leadership Academy and the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He is a member of the Southeastern Michigan Chiefs of Police, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers, the Michigan Antiterrorism Task Force, and the Detroit Chamber of Commerce Tourism Action Group.

  Jim Plakas(313) 456-4100 Appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. He succeeds Mr. Damian Kassab, who resigned in December of 2009. Jim Plakas’ term will expire on December 31, 2012. Jim Plakas was the mayor of Garden City for 10 years and a member of the Garden City Council for 17 years. He retired from Ford Motor Company where he was a design engineer. Mr. Plakas was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives from District 16 in 2000. Mr. Plakas is a Korean War Veteran and served in the U.S. Army. He received a mechanical engineering degree from Lawrence Technological University. Mr. Plakas currently resides in Garden City with his wife.

 Judge Benjamin Friedman(313) 456-4100  Appointed by Gov. Granholm to replace Roman Gribbs when his term expired. Judge Friedman’s term began February 6, 2004, and runs through December 31, 2011. Judge Friedman, a partner of Friedman & Lichterman, P.C., was a judge for the 45B District Court, and resides in Huntington Woods. 

 Barbara Rom(313) 456-4100  Appointed to a term expiring December 31, 2011. Rom is a partner of the Detroit Pepper Hamilton, LLP law firm, past-president of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and has been actively involved with numerous groups and committees working on a wide range of legal issues and community service matters. Crain’s Detroit Business selected Rom as one of “Detroit’s Most Influential Women.” She resides in Bloomfield Hills.  

Michael J. Watza(313) 456-4100  Appointed to a term expiring December 31, 2010, is from Northville, MI. Mr. Watza is a partner of Kitch, Druthas, Wagner, Valitutti and Sherwood. He succeeds the Honorable Michael L. Stacey whose term has expired.
Detroit Charter Commission E-mail Addresses

 FREMAN HENDRIX, Chair                                              



Detroit Charter Commission Executive Director
Gregory Hicks
Detroit Charter Commission Legal Counsel
Lamont Satchel
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