Washington Twp supervisor accused of harassment, costs taxpayers $20K

- Depending on who you ask, Washington Township Supervisor Dan O’Leary is a hero or a difficult boss.

In January 2017, a Washington Township employee filed a complaint with the township accusing O’Leary of harassment.

The matter was settled a couple months later, on March 20, 2017, when the employee returned to work on the condition that O’Leary move his office out of township hall for at least six months.

The agreement also forbade O’Leary from dealing directly with the woman, who instead reports to clerk Kathy Bosheers and treasurer Michael Nicely.

Two months later, when federal prosecutors cracking down on public corruption in Macomb County charged engineering contractor Paulin Modi with conspiracy to bribe a Washington Township official, the feds went out of their way to make it clear O’Leary was not the official in question. 

In an unusual move, in the news release announcing the charges against Modi, the feds noted: “The United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI wish to acknowledge the extraordinary assistance of Washington Township Supervisor Daniel O’Leary, who brought the criminal conduct to the attention of federal law enforcement and has been a valuable asset to the investigation since its inception.”

So what happened in township hall that prompted the employee to complain about O’Leary’s conduct?
The woman declined to discuss the matter. O’Leary wouldn’t make an appointment with me to sit down and discuss the matter at his convenience, so I had to catch up with him as he left township hall last week.

“Well, you know, I don't discuss employee issues on the record or off the record,” O’Leary told me. “I can tell you that there are always disputes that happen between people, a dispute happened, two different people saw the dispute two different ways and the issue's resolved. There was no money exchanged, no lawsuit, no settlement, no outstanding claims, so from our standpoint, there's really nothing to talk about.”

Nevertheless, resolving the dispute cost taxpayers $20,000.

O’Leary was allowed to move back into his office in township hall two months earlier than planned. We discussed the dispute in more detail - including whether the public has a right to right to know about - in my latest exclusive investigation for Fox 2 News.

Contact M.L. Elrick at ml.elrick@foxtv.com or 248-552-5261. Follow him on Facebook at ML Elrick, on Twitter @elrick or on Instagram at “ml_elrick.” 

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