A Potterville Mystery: Why Are City Hall Doors Locked?

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

The doors to Potterville City Hall are locked. And no one in town seems to know why.

"I have not heard," Ruth Robinson said. "No one has said."

Robinson, who used to serve on the city council, now works across the street. She didn't find out about the closing until after it happened.

"I went to City Hall on Monday morning to pay a water will and the doors were locked," Robinson said.

The city manager told us he's the one who locked the doors. He says he did it last Friday. And he didn't want to speak on camera. But asked why he locked the doors, he said only: for administrative reasons.

Late Thursday afternoon, an attorney working for the firm that represents the city shed some light on the locked doors.

"There's been allegations of misconduct against one of the employees," attorney Tom Yeadon said. The doors are also locked in part, he says, because the city is currently short on staff.

So, Yeadon says, the city of Potterville asked the Michigan State Police to investigate. MSP confirms that account. And Yeadon says that's why the doors are locked.

"So files can't be tampered with," he explained.

Investigators want to preserve those files until every document in question is photocopied. From there, the investigation can begin in earnest.

A spokesman for the Michigan Department of the Treasury says his office has been contacted regarding possible cooperation with the investigation.

Meantime, Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Sauter will be waiting for the results.

"I would expect that when it's completed they will bring it to me to review," Sauter said. "...For possible criminal charges."

Charges or not, attorneys say the city is still functioning: bills are being paid and payroll checks are going out. But a very outward sign indicates the ongoing investigation.

"Still seems closed," Robinson said.

And it will stay that way, attorneys say, until all those files are copied.


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