CORUNNA — Shiawassee County Treasurer Thomas Dwyer Thursday night announced in a press release he has quit the position.
According to the release, a committee including Clerk Caroline Wilson, Prosecutor Deana Finnegan and Probate Judge Thomas Dignan will select a replacement to serve until voters in the 2020 general election select a replacement.
“I would like to thank the people of Shiawassee County and my colleagues in county government for their continuous support over the past 22 years,” Dwyer said in the prepared statement.
According to the press release, Dwyer's last day in office will be Aug. 30.
Dwyer noted his age, he is 72, and increasing health issues as the main reasons for the decision.
Dwyer was first elected treasurer in 1996 and is in the midst of his sixth four-year term.
Dwyer’s decision comes as the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners was considering a censure of the longtime official because he apparently has not been showing up for work regularly for many months. A motion to censure him was tabled Wednesday during the board’s committee of the whole meeting.
Commissioners had discussed the possibility of asking Gov. Gretchn Whitmer to remove the Republican unless the issue was resolved.
On Wednesday, Board Vice Chairman Brandon Marks, R-District 4, said the county board faced liability if Dwyer continued to leave statutory duties unfulfilled.
“Over $100,000 has been spent to perform the (treasury) department’s statutory duties,” Marks said. “If he is unable or unfit to serve in office, we’re accomplices now to anything bad that happens because we tabled.”
Dwyer did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. The Argus-Press previously has been unable to contact Dwyer for comment.
Commissioner Marlene Webster, R-District 1, said all of the commissioners were concerned about Dwyer, but given his many years of service to the county, she believed there is a better way to handle the situation than a censure and felt confident a solution could be reached.
Commissioners have said Dwyer has been a mostly absent treasurer for roughly the past three years. They have noted he has not been present for the past two county audit report presentations, and that the county has not performed bank reconciliations — matching cash account balances to bank statements — for two years.
The county board retained an outside accounting firm, Lansing-based Maner Costerisan, some time ago to shore up work that was not getting done in the treasurer’s office or the finance office, which has had a turnover of three finance directors in the past two years.
The treasurer’s office budget for 2019 was about $335,000. In 2018, the board increased the salary of all employees, including Dwyer and other elected officials. His salary increased from $50,419, plus benefits, to $61,152.