BATH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – She was found not guilty of assault last month.
Now, Marie Howe, Bath Township Supervisor, wants the township to cough up over $20,000 to reimburse her defense fees. She argues the township should be on the hook because it was related to her work as an official of the township.
Clerk Cheryl Kellerman moved “to pay [Howe’s] expenses, since she was found innocent seems to be the most expedient, reasonable thing to do for our taxpayers.”
But the Board of Trustees couldn’t even muster a second tonight to a motion by Kellerman to cut the former U.S Marshall Howe a check for $20,120.10. The motion died.
“This board has to determine their own responsibility and obviously they are not,” Howe says. “And you know, that’s okay.”
Howe was charged in August 2022 a township employee filed a criminal complaint with the Michigan State Police. The employee accused Howe of hitting the employee. But a Clinton County Judge found her not guilty on July 25.
Last month, the township attorney advised that the township had no financial tie into the case and should not reimburse Howe. Howe argued the reimbursement was due because the township provided evidence in the case.
“I was able to bring the evidence to court to prove it was their film to prove that I didn’t touch her,” Howe says. “Everything we had to do in this case, my husband and I, everything brought up being their responsibility. It was their emails. It was their communications.”
In addition to arguing for reimbursement of her legal expenses, Howe is also demanding the township let her occupy the office space she was using before the August 2022 allegations led her to have limited hours in the township offices.
Township Superintendent Karen Hildebrant says Howe was moved to separate her from complaints other employees had filed about the supervisor. Tuesday night was the first time the allegations there is a file of other complaints against Howe were discussed in public.
The revelation startled Howe with the claim of complaints.
“I’m sure you have binders and binders of complaints,” Howe said.
Nonetheless, the Board of Trustees rejected her office request as well.
Howe was first elected as a Democrat to the post of Township Supervisor in November 2020. Her term expires in November 2024. What her next steps are remain unclear, including whether or not she will throw her hat in the ring for re-election.
Howe is adamant the township board made the wrong decision — on her office and her legal reimbursements.
“If that’s a legacy they want to leave,” Howe says, “that’s the legacy.”