EDITORIAL – Dearborn voters won’t resolve the ‘True Dearborn’ mystery, but they will elect a judge for the 19th district court on November 4th.
Questions continue to swirl around who was behind the True Dearborn email campaign, but the real issue is who the next judge will be.
Several Dearborn area Facebook discussion groups provided details that pointed to attorney and political consultant Tarek Baydoun. But even if Baydoun sent the emails, the question remains: Who was behind the email campaign? Who paid for it? Was it sent by someone seeking the office of mayor or someone supporting a local judge? Was the ‘True Dearborn’ email campaign sponsored by Judge Mark Somers, Mark Lane’s Reclaim Dearborn PAC, Gary Woronchak, Tom Tafelski, George Darany, Tarek Baydoun or someone else? In the end, does it really matter who sent or sponsored the ‘True Dearborn” email campaign?
At least three people reported that they had received an email with an SMTP header including the “Message-ID” <…8224267@Tarek-
On October 19th, Tarek Baydoun responded to an inquiry from the Dearborn Free Press, and said: “I too received that email, and read the story [… about ‘True Dearborn”]. I did not send that email, but found it interesting.”
On October 20th, Andrey Oleynik of SMTP.COM in Cambridge, MA sent an email reply to the Dearborn Free Press : “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Yes this email has been sent through our system. I have terminated the account which sent that email due to abuse of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)”
Apparently, it’s easy for an email sender to forge an SMTP Message-ID with free open source scripting tools, or other email tools. According to email security experts: “Everything about an email message can be forged, or can be tampered with in transit. The only headers you can trust are those put there by your server; the only content you can trust is that protected by a verified digital signature.”
On the morning of October 31st, I had coffee with Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak. Gary indicated he received two copies of the ‘True Dearborn” email, and he also stated that he did not really know who was behind the ‘True Dearborn’ email campaign.
On October 24th, an email campaign was distributed by Baydoun Consulting with the title: “Sexual Harassment Complaint – Censored by the Dearborn Press & Guide” from Sheryl Maironis of Westland, a former employee of Tony Guerriero and the 19th district court.
We quote part of the letter here:
During my more than 15 years with the 19th District Court, I did work with Mr Guerriero while he was magistrate there. He found himself more than once in poor standings with the then Court Clerk, Sharon Langen and Court Administrator, Doyne Jackson….
Mr Guerriero was appointed District Judge in Allen Parks, 24th District Court by the same governor who appointed Richard Wygonik to the 19th District Court and we all know how that turned out. Nonetheless, Guerriero was now District Judge and in a position that required residency. It was easy enough to fool the taxpayers temporarily of his residency since he took on an apartment in Allen Park (apartment building on Allen Rd just east of the Allen Park shopping plaza, on South side of the street) where he occasionally would pop in and turn the lights on and off to appear as if living there, while actually residing with his wife and daughter in Dearborn. I witnessed this on occasion as a friend lived right next door. Then the complaints and rumors of sexual harassment started in Allen Park, where upon the first election the taxpayers did not elect him to the bench.
Now back to my experience with Guerriero. While he was magistrate at the 19th District, Anthony Guerriero was ordered by Court Administrator Doyne Jackson to no longer enter the Clerks office where he normally would read letters of explanation by defendants. This order came after I filed a complaint of sexual harassment at the urging of Court Clerk, Sharon Langen (now Court Administrator), Court Administrator Doyne Jackson (now deceased) and two other magistrates for the 19th District Court at that time, Danny Ferrara and Sam Salamey … One afternoon during business hours, Guerriero brought a friend into the Clerks office. While walking about the office, he and his friend were speaking loudly in Italian to each other. As they approached my desk, I told Guerriero it was rude that they were speaking Italian in the office and nobody knew what they were saying. He replied, “I’ll tell you what we are saying, we are saying we are going to bend you over the desk and do you right here.” I was shocked and upset. As he and his friend walked away I began to cry and a coworker went to inform Ms. Langen. After Ms. Langen took me outside to calm down and tell her what had happen, we immediately went into the Court Administrators office. Over the next week, I was approached my Judges, Magistrates, co workers and family to file a formal complaint against Mr. Guerriero… I thought that he would never speak to women in this manner or demean the integrity of a government entity by derogatory remarks such as this on the job. I did not listen to others as they told me this will happen again. I sent a request to the City of Dearborn three weeks ago regarding the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the original letter I had placed within his file. However, I have not received a response from the city thus far. Obviously, I was wrong in not warning and protecting the employees of Allen Park from his exposure, but I now wish to enlighten those in Dearborn before he tries to return.
Some may say I am only a disgruntled past employee that is now making stories up to hurt the campaign efforts of others… I have not worked for the 19th District since September of 2012. I am employed as a Quality Control Specialist/Team leader. I have a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. I am married and the grandmother of 6. I am content with where I am and now confident enough to speak out against the erroneous politics that continue in the city of Dearborn.
Judge Somers told The Arab American News that Mayor O’Reilly’s propaganda was misleading Dearborn voters, “stem[ming] from a decision he [Judge Somers] made when he was chief judge to do away with the court’s deputy administrator position. The lawsuit was brought forward by Julie Pucci, then-fiancée of Dearborn Judge William Hultgren. She was a court employee who was promoted to court administrator before Somers became chief judge. Somers argued that Judge Hultgren’s relationship with the court employee violated anti-nepotism policies. He said it was part of the reason why Hultgren was denied the chief judge position over Somers.”
Isn’t it true that eliminating the court’s deputy administrator position would save the city close to $100,000 per year? Why did Julie Pucci-Hultgren bring her case to trial, knowing it might cost the city even more money? Why didn’t the City of Dearborn settle out of court for less than $200,000 when they had the chance? What will happen if Judge Somers loses the vote on November 4th for 19th district court, but wins his case in the Court of Appeals?
The Detroit Free Press Editorial Board concluded: “We rarely withhold our endorsement from incumbent judges, but District Judge Mark Somers’ conduct as chief judge has sewn disharmony on his court and triggered two embarrassing and costly civil verdicts on behalf of former employees. Since Somers’ election in 2008, juries have awarded a total of $1.1 million in damages to two women who asserted that Somers unlawfully dismissed them.”
Tony Guerriero has numerous endorsements including Mayor O’Reilly, councilmen Abraham, Bazzy, O’Donnell, Sareini, and Shooshanian, along with with an endorsement from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
In addition, the Judicial Evaluation Committee of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association rated Judge Somers as “unqualified”.
On November 4th, the Dearborn voters will decide. Dearborn voters won’t resolve the ‘True Dearborn’ mystery, but they will elect a judge for the 19th district court.
- Burning Questions Swirl Around ‘True Dearborn’ Politics – Dearborn Free Press
- Dearborn Not Obligated to Pay $1.17 Million Judgement – Dearborn Free Press
- Judge Somers Fires Back at Mayor O’Reilly’s Open Letter – Arab American News
- Mayor O’Reilly: Residents Should Choose a ‘Qualified’ Judge – Arab American News
- Group Behind ‘Let’s Reclaim Dearborn!’ Reveals Self, Advocates Change – Dearborn Patch
- Dearborn’s 19th District Court is ‘right place’ for him, Somers says – Press & Guide
- Election Q/A: Guerriero seeks election to Dearborn district court – Press & Guide
- Election Q/A: Somers seeks third term in Dearborn district court – Press & Guide