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04/04/38 WILSON v. COUNCIL CITY HIGHLAND PARK

April 4, 1938

WILSON
v.
COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK



SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

OFFICERS -- REMOVAL -- MISCONDUCT.

The misconduct, misfeasance or malfeasance of an officer, to warrant removal from office, must have direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties and amount either to mal-administration or to wilful and intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the office at all.

OFFICERS -- REMOVAL -- CRIMES.

Misconduct warranting removal of an officer from office does not include acts and conduct which, though amounting to a violation of the s of the State, have no connection with the discharge of official duties.

3. OFFICERS -- SEPARATION OF OFFICIAL AND PERSONAL CHARACTER.

Misconduct warranting removal of an officer must be such as affects his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private individual, it being necessary, in such cases, to separate the character of the man from the character of the office and the misconduct charged be something which plaintiff did, or did not do, in his official capacity.

4. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS -- COUNCILMAN -- REMOVAL FROM OFFICE -- MEMBERSHIP IN BLACK LEGION.

Member of council of home rule city as to whom no official misconduct was shown or claimed held, not removable from office solely because of his membership in Black Legion, a secret society of political character.

5. COSTS -- PUBLIC QUESTION -- REMOVAL OF COUNCILMAN.

No costs are allowed in proceeding to remove member of home rule city council because of his membership in Black Legion, a secret society of political character, a public question being involved.

BUTZEL, BUSHNELL, and McALLISTER, JJ., Dissenting.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Potter

Appeal from Wayne; Marschner (Adolph F.), J. Submitted January 7, 1938. (Docket No. 78, Calendar No. 39,725.) Decided April 4, 1938. Rehearing denied June 14, 1938.

Proceedings before Council of the City of Highland Park for removal of R. Stanley Wilson. Plaintiff reviewed order of removal in circuit court by certiorari. Judgment affirmed. Plaintiff reviews by appeal in the nature of certiorari. Reversed.

POTTER, J. Plaintiff, a member of the council of the city of Highland Park, was removed from office because he was a member of the so-called Black Legion, a secret society of political character, the council finding he was a member and that his participation in the affairs of the Black Legion was highly reprehensible in a member of the common council of the city of Highland Park and rendered him incompetent to perform the duties of his office and constituted corrupt and wilful malfeasance in office and wilful misconduct to the injury of the public service. Plaintiff was removed by a vote of three to ...


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