Emergency Manager Law, Emergency Managers, Pontiac — April 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

Former Pontiac Emergency Manager Michael Stampfler says Public Act 4 isn’t working (and can’t work)


Oh. NOW you tell us.

Former Emergency Manager of Pontiac Michael Stampfler is giving a presentation to the Rotary Club of Wyandotte about why Public Act 4 – Michigan’s Emergency Manager law — isn’t working and cannot work.

Stampfler says, “I do not believe EMs can be successful — they abrogate the civic structure of the community for a period of years then return it virtually dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it. The program provides no structure for long term recovery, and that is why most communities slide back into trouble, if they experience any relief at all — a vicious cycle. The Public Act is not sufficient and the state bureaucracy isn’t up to a performance offering any significant success — as can be noted from the communities repeating.”

This is interesting commentary coming from a guy who privatized Pontiac’s water treatment to a company, United Water, facing 26 felony indictments for violations of the Clean Water Act.

United Water Services Inc., the former contract operator of the Gary Sanitary District wastewater treatment works in Gary, Ind., and two of its employees, were charged today with conspiracy and felony violations of the Clean Water Act in a 26-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, the Justice Department announced today.

United Water Services Inc., and employees Dwain L. Bowie, and Gregory A. Ciaccio, have been charged with manipulating daily wastewater sampling methods by turning up disinfectant treatment levels shortly before sampling, then turning them down shortly after sampling.


According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to tamper with E. coli monitoring methods by turning up levels of disinfectant dosing prior to E. coli sampling. The indictment states that the defendants would avoid taking E. coli samples until disinfectants had reached elevated levels, which in turn were expected to lead to reduced E. coli levels. Immediately after sampling, the indictment alleges, the defendants turned down disinfectant levels, thus reducing the amount of treatment chemicals they used.

The case was investigated by the Northern District of Indiana Environmental Crimes Task Force, including agents from the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the FBI and the Indiana State Police. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section.

It will be interesting to see what Stampfler thinks should be done to correct what is insufficient about Public Act 4. More incentives and power to privatize public assets maybe? Or does that “abrogate the civic structure of the community”???