ALPENA — Alpena Mayor Theron McCammond said Tuesday morning that he will resign from office if the Alpena Town Council accepts the detachment of his property from the city limits, as well as that of the owner of the Top Rock restaurant on the east side of the town.
McCammond held a press conference of sorts on his property on the south side of town just off US Highway 412. It was in the shade of a tree at the edge of the pasture on his farm.
McCammond delineated several issues he said he uncovered after taking office in January 2019, including:
• Unauthorized purchases under the city’s authority.
• Nepotism and corruption among city officials, including the employment of the nephew of the former mayor as chief of police.
• Financial misconduct that was never prosecuted.
• Employment of a financial advisor who had been suspected of alleged fraud and theft from two other public entities more than 10 years ago.
He said he tried to get those and other matters straightened out, but the town council had stripped power from him on more than one occasion. He cited a special council meeting he said he was not informed of in which he was removed from town bank accounts and access to the town mail boxes.
“The corrupt political atmosphere is nauseating in this town,” McCammond said.
After speaking with reporters for almost an hour, going over documents from law enforcement and other elected officials, the mayor laid out a plan.
McCammond said he gave the town council affidavits to have his property and that of Mary Jones where the Top Rock restaurant sits detached from the town.
Jones told the Daily Times that she was at first hesitant of having the property annexed into the city in 2019, but she had hoped for sewer service at the time. The city also purchased the property where a proposed sewage treatment plant was supposed to be located. She said she did send in the affidavit of attachment herself.
“Once those ordinances are passed and in effect, and both my property and Mary Jones’ property are detached from the town of Alpena, I will tender my resignation as mayor of Alpena effective upon that legislation,” McCammond said. “It has become apparent that my faith, my family and my financial well-being are more important to me than fighting a corrupt syndication by myself.
“To the people of Alpena who voted for me, I want to apologize to you for my failures. I did not anticipate the blatant corruption and nepotism that the town government in Alpena holds. I tried my best to bring it to the limelight. I will say this, in 2018, your town run an $85,000 deficit, which I’m sure you would like to know where that money went. In 2019, I run a $21,000 surplus in the general fund and a $17,000 surplus in the street fund. The latest numbers show me that the first half of 2020, a $28,000 surplus overall. With that said, keep an eye on your future government.”
McCammond said he won’t resign unless both properties are de-annexed.