HAMTRAMCK — Almost a month after censuring Councilman Ian Perrotta, some Hamtramck Council members are now taking steps to remove him from office.
A press release put out by Councilman Mohammed Hassan says six current and former Hamtramck City Council members are joining “community leaders and residents” to recall the two-term councilman and current mayor pro tem.
The Wayne County Election Commission will meet on Oct. 8 to consider approving language for a petition to place the recall on a future election ballot.
“As a matter of principal, elected officials do not support recalls,” Hassan said. “But Mr. Perrotta is a special case. He had shown, repeatedly, an inability to contain his anger. This has created an unsafe environment in City Hall and in our community.”
Perrotta was almost censured in 2017, with the Council withdrawing that censure without a vote after Perrotta publicly apologized for comments made in regards to Hamtramck’s immigrant population. He also promised to change his behavior, the release said.
Perrotta was first formally censured in 2019. Among the charges included in that censure were allegations that he assaulted a fellow Council member and attempted to “provoke physical altercations with other members.” It was also alleged back then that he was creating a hostile work environment in the Hamtramck City Hall and involved in ongoing abusive behavior directed at a female employee beginning in late 2018.
Perrotta was again formally censured in August when he allegedly bullied and harassed an employee (which Perrotta admitted to and apologized for) and attempted to intimidate the employee into making a ruling in Perrotta’s favor.
The censure resolution said that Perrotta had exposed “the city to potential liability and (sic) increased expense.”
“We have nothing but love for Brother Ian,” Hassan said. “It is clear that he needs professional help to find the maturity he needs to be able to control his emotions and respect all of the people all of the time.
“He will never seek or find the help he needs as long as he holds a seat on Council, and it has become clear that as long as he holds a seat on Council, city employees and residents are not safe. That’s why community leaders and current and former Council members began the process of recalling Mr. Perrotta from his seat on Council.”
Perrotta’s term expires at the end of 2021. Michigan law states that a recall may not be filed against an officer elected for a two-year term who has held a term for less than six months or only has six months remaining in his or her term.
From the amount of time it takes to approve a petition and get a recall measure into an election, Hamtramck voters will most likely not see the recall vote on their November ballot.
The process for recalling municipal officials entails getting the petition approved by an appropriate local board, collecting signatures and submitting them to the local clerk. Once approved by the board, the petitioner must have a number of signatures equal to 25 percent of the number of votes cast in the last general election in the electoral district of the official sought to be recalled.
The petitioner has 60 days to collect these signatures and the petition must be submitted to the clerk no later than 180 days after it was approved by the board. The clerk has 35 days to determine the validity of the signatures on the petition by verifying the voter registration status of those who signed. If the petition is approved, the recall is put on the next election ballot.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story said Hassan had started collecting signatures. Hassan later called us, looking for a “correction”, saying he intended to state that he had simply begun the petition process.