Recently Dearborn citizens have learned that Dearborn City Councilman Robert Abraham is late in paying real estate taxes a total of some $80,000 on properties located on Garrison in Dearborn. The city of Dearborn has a policy of removing from office any elected official who owes back taxes to the city claiming it is a violation of the City Charter to owe the city of Dearborn taxes and hold elected office in Dearborn. I, myself, was removed from my elected position as Dearborn Charter commissioner because my mother’s estate, the estate of Josephine Dobkowski, the title holder of the family home located at 5286 Horger, Dearborn, was late in payment of taxes due the city of Dearborn. This was done at the request and demand of Councilman Abraham and members of his family though a Michigan Attorney General’s opinion No. 120 and dated Oct. 29, 1935, specifically ruled that a citizen’s right to hold public office should not be denied because they were merely delinquent in paying taxes to the city. This Attorney General’s opinion has the power of law to this date and has never been reversed by the Michigan Supreme Court.
I am not a person who seeks personal retribution against Mr. Abraham or his family. I accept that a power greater than I makes the judgement concerning a person’s mistakes against his fellow neighbors in their moment of greatest need. Though the city’s actions against me including the improper destruction of my family home on orders by certain leaders in Dearborn City Hall has left me totally without assets … basically pennyless, I harbor no hatred toward those leaders in City Hall.
I ask that based on the fact that Mr. Abraham owes back taxes, that he not be removed from his elected position of councilman for merely owing real estate taxes to the city of Dearborn. The city of Dearborn must begin helping its citizens in their hour of need and not continue to beat its citizens into the ground as it has in the past to hundreds and hundreds of citizens in need and show mercy to Mr. Abraham and his family during their financial problems. We are in a deepening financial depression that is now effecting the families of Dearborn, of Michigan, of the United States, and the entire world. The Abraham family is only one of many families hurt in today’s financial crisis.
If a hearing is held to remove Mr. Abraham, I will speak in his behalf and ask the City Council to show him mercy and allow him to complete his term in office if his only problem is that he owes back taxes to the city of Dearborn.
Stephen S. Dobkowski Jr.