Animal Control Director may be able to prove wrong-doing by county commissioner acting outside his scope of authority
Patricia Lentz sued Isabella County Commissioner Tim Dolehanty, arguing that he abused his authority and wrongfully interfered with her employment as Animal Control Director through the manipulation of her job performance evaluation. Lentz was terminated after a poor evaluation conducted under Lentz's direction. She claimed that Lentz, who was on the board of an advocacy group entitled Humane Animal Treatment Society, disagreed with her procedures on euthanasia and engineered her termination to secure control over the County's Animal Control policies for HATS. She alleged that Doilehanty's actions violated a statute confining the Commissioner's legal duties to lawfully held meetings and constituted a conflict of interest. The Court of Appeals held that Lentz had established sufficient facts and law to create a genuine issue of fact regarding whether Dolehanty's "dual role" violated the statute prohibiting a Commissioner from acting for the County if he possessed a direct or indirect interest in any business transaction with the County.