Oakland County commissioners interviewing 5 candidates for executive job

click to enlarge Oakland County commissioners interviewing 5 candidates for executive job
Oakland County government

Oakland County commissioners on Wednesday are interviewing five candidates vying to replace L. Brooks Patterson as county executive.

An evaluation committee of two Democrats and one Republican selected the five candidates from a field of 21.

The committee is interviewing the following candidates:
• 9:30 a.m.: Kevin Howley, Huntington Woods, Democrat
• 10:30 a.m.: Randy Hazel, Lake Orion, independent
• 11:30 a.m.: David Woodward, Royal Oak, Democrat
• 1:00 p.m.: Timothy Gossman, Clarkston, independent
• 2:00 p.m.: Julie Secontine, Milford, political party unknown

The committee is represented by commissioners Marcia Gershenson, D-Bloomfield Township; Gwen Markham, D-Novi; and Thomas F. Middleton, R-Clarkston.

The full board, which has 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, may vote as early as Friday on appointing Patterson’s replacement. Commissioners have 30 days to appoint a new county executive after a vacancy. If they can't make a choice by then, a special election will be held.

Democrats held a majority on the board until the chairman, Dave Woodward, resigned last week so he could be considered for the appointment. The interim county executive is Gerald Poisson, who had served as deputy county executive under Patterson.

Patterson's funeral is Thursday.

The process of replacing Patterson has turned ugly with allegations of backroom deals. Earlier this week, Commissioner Shelly Goodman Taub admitted she told her Republican colleagues to "delete" their emails before reporters send a public records request. It’s illegal to intentionally destroy public records.

You can watch the interviews on the commission’s website.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.