By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Raed Mourad was appointed to the Act 78 Police & Fire Civil Service Commission following the resignation of President Martin Crandall.
The change was unanimously approved by the Dearborn Heights City Council during a May 10 meeting as requested by Mayor Bill Bazzi.
Mourad’s term is set to expire in November 2023. He will join current Commission Secretary Stephen Lobkovich and Commissioner Stephen Popp.
Initially the appointment was set to make Mourad president of the commission as was Crandall, but Councilman Mo Baydoun amended the motion to remove the title of president.
Prior to the discussion and vote, Popp spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, but as a resident.
“I don’t actually have any problem with the mayor’s role in appointing the new commissioner,” Popp said. “As a matter a fact, being a commissioner, I know myself and the other commissioner Stephen Lobkovich are actually looking forward to having a full commission and getting things back to normal.”
Popp voiced concern over having Mourad appointed to the commission as president.
“My understanding is the mayor intends on appointing him as president of the civil service commission and the role of officers being elected in the civil service commission is that of the three civil service commissioners,” he said. “We elect our own officers.”
Under Act 78, it is the role of the active commissioners to elect the president and secretary. Council Chairman Dave Abdallah said that was one of the questions he was going to ask the administration.
Baydoun thanked Crandall for his service and welcomed Mourad to the commission.
Mourad spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, before his appointment.
“I just wanted to introduce myself and advise that I’m super excited to serve my city and would love to help in anyway I can,” he said.
Mourad is currently an attorney and a lifelong Dearborn Heights resident.
The vote to appoint Mourad was first brought to the council by Bazzi at an April 12 meeting where the council tabled the vote due to a pending lawsuit resolution in circuit court.
Crandall was terminated from the commission last month, one day before a commission hearing on the termination of former Police Chief Mark Meyers.
Bazzi and the city maintain they had the authority to terminate Meyers, citing the city charter. Shortly after, Bazzi then announced the appointment of new Police Chief Jerrod Hart.
In a March 29 letter to the city administration, Lobkovich wrote that “no cause for the termination of Chief Mark Meyers has been demonstrated by the Appointing Authority in Dearborn Heights.”
As a result, Meyers is to be reinstated with full pay for the entire duration of this separation from service per Public Act 78 of 1935.
Meyers has not resumed his duties; Bazzi has indicated the city will challenge the commission’s decision in the courts.
During the public comment on agenda items portion of the April 12 meeting, Lobkovich said he believes the appointment at that time was premature because Crandall has filed an appeal on his removal from the commission.
No mention of the appeal or court case was made during the meeting by Popp or the administration.
The Act 78 commission meets at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of the month in the council conference room at city hall.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])