Declining SAFER Grant Could Land Mich. Mayor in Jail

Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand has been ordered by two different judges to accept a $8.1 million grant intended to rehire laid-off firefighters.


Turning down a multi-million dollar SAFER grant could possibly put the mayor of Taylor, Mich. behind bars.

Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand was ordered to accept the $8.1 million grant intended to rehire some of the city's 32 laid-off firefighters on Monday by Wayne County Circuit Judge Kathleen Macdonald, the second judge to do so, according to The Detroit Free Press.

If Lamarand doesn't follow through with the order, he will have to appear in a Detroit courtroom on Friday for a contempt hearing that could result in jail time.

The mayor contends that the city doesn't have the money to pay its share of the costs associated with the federal grant including overtime, unemployment costs after the grant runs out and workman's compensation that extends beyond the two-year period.

"This is my standpoint," he told the newspaper. "I'm not complying because I basically look at this as this is requesting me to falsify this process."

In June, the city council pass a resolution directing him to accept the grant.

Taylor Fire Chief Bob Tompos told the newspaper that he hopes there is a solution so that his department -- which is stretched thin with only 28 firefighters -- can better respond to emergencies.

"We haven't gotten enough right now covering what we need to cover," he said. "We're going to work with whatever we have, and we're going to do the best job we can."