Power struggle spills over in Ecorse, Dearborn Donut shop fined over safety rules, Biden transition begins

The underbelly of local politics spilled out into the open after a downriver city council asked its mayor to step down a day after he was reelected with a large majority of the vote.

But not everything is as it seems in the city of Ecorse. Allegations of improper purchases, mayoral candidates leaking stories, and denials have hung over the town of not even 10,000 people.

FOX 2's Problem Solvers started with Jeremy Renshaw, who decided to run for mayor in 2020.

"The city, it needs somebody who's going to come in here and just want to really clean the place up and make it look beautiful again," Renshaw said. 

Renshaw won his party's primary election earlier this year, meaning he would face off against Lamar Tidwell, the incumbent mayor. And that's when things got a little weird.

Next thing he knows, a sitting council member that Renshaw doesn't know texts him an article regarding the investigation of police officers in the city of Ecorse. The Attorney General's office is looking into recovered vehicles not properly reported as stolen and instead sold for personal use to people in high places.

Among the vehicles sold for personal use was a Chevy Blazer sold for $500 to a Mr. Lamar Tidwell, according to a Bill of Sale that Renshaw acquired.

"Then the same city councilman sends me the charter and the charter says that the mayor purchases one of these vehicles for personal use or personal gain that he is to forfeit his position and they said they were going to make his step down and essentially I was going to run uncontested," he said. 

But that didn't happen. Read more about Rob Wolchek's latest scoop here.

SOS Benson commends poll workers, city clerks, and election volunteers

It took almost three weeks, but Michigan's election has now been certified by all 83 county canvassing boards and the state canvassing board.

While there was little uncertainty regarding the intent of the voters in the state, the process for finalizing tabulations and certifying the vote was a far-bumpier process than it has been in the past.

After an hours-long meeting on Monday, the state board voted 3-0 with one abstaining to certify. 

"It is really what has warmed my heart, to be honest, but also at the same time all we saw is a reflection of the system working," said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Beyond the necessity of finalizing the vote, Benson said the poll workers, city clerks, and election volunteers that put in numerous hours for Nov. 3 be validated for their efforts.

"No question, Michigan has played a historical role in this national election and the voters and the clerks are going to be commended for the work that they did to ensure that under some significant scrutiny the process worked. It was smooth, it was successful; we saw record-breaking turnout in the midst of a pandemic," Benson said. 

Detroit police investigate thefts of 10 vehicles

Detroit police are looking into the robbery of several trucks and cars from the Ray Laethem Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership on the city's east side.

Among the vehicles stolen was Garret Pawley's truck, a Macomb County man who had sent his vehicle to get repaired. But he never got it back.

"I’m at a lost for words," Garret Pawley said. "You think, OK, all my personal possessions that were in there, my vehicle's gone. What am I going to do?"

The dealership told Pawley the thieves broke in last week, stole three new trucks then lifted another seven vehicles from the service center, including Pawley's truck, which he affectionately calls Big Rhonda.

According to the dealership, it took all of 17 minutes.

According to police, some of the trucks have been recovered, but the dealership was robbed again later in the week.

Neither police nor the dealership would comment on the investigation.

Detroit family planning second funeral after brother killed in hit-and-run

"We don't know anything. All we know is we got another funeral next week."

As Quwantiz Cunningham and his family prepared to bury one of their own, tragedy struck again when another member was killed after a hit-and-run with a car.

Eddie Cunnigham had died of COVID-19. He was to be buried Saturday. But the night before, 33-year-old Antwan was hit by another vehicle near Morang and Lakepointe. The driver fled and Antwan died in the hospital.

"You just ripped my heart out," Quwantiz said. 

"There’s no way that he just went in the street and got hit," Quwantiz said. "I believe he was being robbed and ran into street. ... He got chased into the street and the person who was there saw everything."

Detroit police are investigating the scene and have spoken to people who were there when it happened. Police are also looking for surveillance video.

Dearborn Donut shop fined for violating safety rules

A Dearborn Donut shop was cited with a misdemeanor for violating the city's health code for public gathering limits.

But to the Donutville U.S.A.'s attorney, the violation was the first citation that's been issued and happened when two customers were inside the building.

"The husband and wife came in and the husband went to use the facilities and she was waiting and that's when police came in," Attorney David Kallman said. 

The owners decided to lawyer up with Kallman, who is a familiar face on the court circuit after he represented the Owosso barber who defied the Michigan lockdown protocol to stay open during the COVID-19 shutdown.

There were multiple attempts to contact Dearborn Police, but they were unsuccessful. So, it's unclear where their directive to ticket came from, or what the shop's owners are going on the hook for. 

Other Stories

1. With cold temperatures on the way, restaurants' ability to weather the public health storm remains in limbo. In Detroit, the city wants to lift some of the expected burdens by expanding outdoor dining opportunities.
2. For Shelly White, the Thanksgiving meal loaded into her truck was a heartbreaking reminder that 2020 hasn't gone as planned. She was one of the thousand families that are relying on the Springfield Township Fire Department for help this holiday season.
3. A 57-year-old Michigan doctor has pleaded guilty to unlawfully distributing drugs, a decision that could land him in prison for 24 months and an already agreed-upon fine of $150,000.
4. General Motors has dropped out of a lawsuit brought forward by the Trump administration against California and the state's right to set its own air quality standards. The decision underscores the growing policy-need to combat climate change under the incoming Biden administration.
5. The Detroit Police Department's ninth precinct is hosting a two-day boutique bonanza where residents can pick up shoes, clothing, and more.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's going to be a cloudy Tuesday with a high of 42 degrees. Expect rain and snow later in the afternoon.

GSA officially recognizes Biden as president-elect, clearing way for transition

The federal General Services Administration on Monday officially recognized Joe Biden as the president-elect, clearing the way for him to begin a formal presidential transition and handover of power. 

GSA is an executive branch agency. The incoming president’s transition cannot officially begin until its administrator, currently, Emily Murphy, ascertains the “apparent successful candidate” in the general election.

An official said Murphy made the determination after President Donald Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, most recently in Michigan, which certified Biden's victory Monday, according to the Associated Press.

President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede his loss, tweeted about the transition Monday, saying, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good... fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”