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Media Statement from Treasurer Eric Sabree

February 14, 2019

For Immediate Release

Over the last several days there have been numerous media reports regarding allegations that the Auction Policy of the Office of the Treasurer was violated by my family members who participated in the auction in 2011. I have been consistent in stating there was no policy violation due to the fact that the Treasurer's office did not conduct the public auctions in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In 2011, the auctions were conducted by Bid4Assets, Inc. under contract to the Wayne County Treasurer. To be clear and specific the Auction Rule States: "Current contractors of the Treasurer, their employees, and current employees of the Wayne County Treasurer, members of the immediate family of contractors, or Treasurer employees including children, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and first cousins are strictly prohibited from participating directly or indirectly, in the bidding and purchasing by any means, including and not limited to, joint ventures, or assignments of any foreclosed property to be sold at an auction conducted by the Treasurer."

The key fact is the last auction my family participated in was 2011 and that auction was NOT conducted by the Treasurer but by an independent private company that had complete control over the entire auction process. Therefore, the policy that is in place today did not apply then since it was not conducted by the Treasurer. We welcome the Wayne County Commission's expedited audit review and County Executive's ethics review. We fully agree that there must be total transparency in this office and in all county operations. This has been a media generated issue that brings into question perception concerns. We strive to be totally transparent and beyond reproach in all our actions.

We have conducted this office with complete transparency since I took over in 2016. In fact, two years ago I appointed Melanie Kersey, a former FBI Special Agent with 25-years of experience, as my Chief Deputy. We have reduced foreclosures by 85% over the past three years - saving over 50,000 properties from foreclosure. Our mission and focus remains on keeping people in their homes, continuing to reduce foreclosures and serving all taxpayers in the 43 municipalities that comprise Wayne County. I will continue to work hard to help individuals and their families who are struggling to avoid foreclosure in our county.