Effort to recall embattled Fraser mayor falls short

The mayor of Fraser is under fire as sexual harassment allegations swirl and recall efforts continue.

Apparently, some of the 15,000 people in Fraser that don’t like Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols, well at least the way he runs city council meetings.

"We're getting tired of it," said Nancy Berube, "(He) seems to be derogatory, especially toward women.")

Berube said she was actually muted at the microphone when she tried to speak at a city council meeting in February.

And the problem was noticed by Tom LaDuke who wanted to recall the mayor because of the muting problem. 

"When you mute people you take away their right to criticize you," he said. "That's part of the job."

Four petitions were brought against the mayor and Thursday the Macomb County election commission had to determine whether the language of those petitions were clear and factual.  

After hearing from the lawyer, the public and each commission member, by a 2 to 1 vote, the mayor won't be recalled because of muting.

"He thought people were getting out of hand and he muted the mic," said Tom Ryan, attorney for Fraser Mayor Nichols. "He doesn't do that anymore."

But there were other petitions to recall the mayor. One petition was dismissed due to forgetting to add the title of the office.  And so was another petition dealing with an alleged violation of the open meetings act and another involving the campaign-finance law. 

Bottom line, the Fraser mayor is not getting recalled. 

In fact, there our sexual harassment allegations against Nichols but that will be dealt with by the city Council next month. 

There will be more Recall petitions.  But they still have to be clear and factual.

"We hold you accountable, that's the way government works in a very civil way," said Karen Spranger, Macomb County clerk. "That's the way government works."