MC: And what was the reasonable salary that was agreed on?
Blackwell: That was in 2006. I’m calling every three months. Where’s my money? I’m working. Six months go by, nine months, a year. Two more years went by. I still haven’t been paid. Now I’m figuring when I finally get my check...
MC: That’s when you started writing the checks?
Blackwell: No, no, no. First of all, I don’t write checks. This is very important. I’m the signer on every check that goes out of Highland Park. No check has ever gone out of Highland Park without two signatures on it. Either me and the finance director and me and the treasurer. It goes through a complete process. This is no starter checkbook that I got in my pocket that I’m writing checks from.
Ramona Henderson got $262,000 from the State of Michigan. She got another $200,000 from Highland Park. She signed every check that she got. She’s the signer. The EFM is the responsible party. So whether I paid a cop or to fix a fire truck, I had to sign a check. Unless I directed the treasurer and the finance director could sign it in my stead. But I had to give them authority to do that.
The last thing I would do would be having someone else sign a check for me like I was trying to hide something. Ain’t nothing to hide.
MC: Is the governor going to be a witness in this case?
Blackwell: If necessary. I There was an editorial written by one of the people that don’t like me that said she should testify and that he did say that after one year he’d paid a reasonable salary. He wants to know what reasonable is.
MC: Have you talked to the governor since?
Blackwell: No. The last time I talked to the governor was my dad’s funeral. She spoke at the funeral. And this whole thing started because a guy named Robert Davis filed a lawsuit against the state’s contractors. He said their contract was done as not a part of the Open Meetings Act and all that. It’s signed by the treasurer, two members of the loan board and me. I’m a contractor. They didn’t tell me to come to meetings, so they signed it and I signed it.
MC: Isn’t Robert Davis justified in inquiring about this since it’s in the public interest?
Blackwell: This thing that this guy’s an activist, I’d like to know what his activist credentials are. I know that he’s cost his own school system close to $100,000 just suing up the board members. I know the school system is in shambles. Go interview 100 people. Say what’s the shape of the school system under his leadership and what’s the shape of the city under my leadership and see what the response is.
But the issue is he ran against my son for county commissioner and got beat. So he’s been an antagonist to the Blackwell family from day one. And he also ran against Bill McConico for state rep and got beat. He’s never won any election, except school board. It is important to say that his case was dismissed. People forget that.
MC: You served as a campaign manager for the former mayor. Is that a coincidence?
Blackwell: I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not. But Robert Davis is a friend of Kym Worthy’s. So is that an issue? The fact that he threw a fundraiser for her, is that an issue? I mean I haven’t made it an issue, because I don’t think it is an issue. But when you start raising these things, then you should raise them for everybody.
MC: Do you think the charges the prosecutor brought out are political?
Blackwell: My issue is legally those charges are questionable.
MC: Why then would she bring those charges? She’s a top prosecutor who does what she does well.
Blackwell: So you’re saying why would the federal government bring charges against anybody and lose? Why would the state bring charges and lose? You think she’s won every case she’s brought to trial?
Blackwell: Okay, so you know we know Rudy Guliani and others. DAs and prosecutors are elected officials that have ambition. So how do they get known?
MC: So she’s doing this for higher political office?
Blackwell: No, no. I’m not saying she’s doing this for higher political office, but it’s interesting that her office has a few challenges right now. That she needs to probably focus on them, but more importantly, what’s the real job of a prosecutor? It’s to make sure she upholds the law wherever it is.
MC: Are you disappointed with the governor?
Blackwell: I’m disappointed with the governor allowing her staff to isolate her from the truth. The governor and the prosecutor have big offices so they rely on staff. People should know staff has agendas. The staff always wants to move up as well or go with you when you move.
MC: Are you stressed by all this?
Blackwell: Oh, absolutely there’s stress. There’s stress on my family. Stress on my mother, my 13-year-old daughter.
MC: Do you believe you will be vindicated?
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