By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.- Township officials are now stepping up the battle with state agencies regarding a controversial group home.
Kathy Thurman, township supervisor reported to the board of trustees on Monday that a meeting is set for next week with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to discuss the group home at 301 Sleepy Hollow.
“I would like to file another complaint with LARA and part of what I’m going to do is include the theft report that I received from the sheriff’s office,” said Thurman.
A report was made that allegedly one of the workers of the group home stole a yard sign from a nearby residence.
“Part of that meeting will be to discuss a meeting here for the public. It looks like I’ll be going to Lansing next week.”
Thurman is planning for a public meeting regarding the group home within the last two weeks of June.
In early May the Sleepy Hollow group home drew the ire of neighbors when it was discovered that two convicted sex offenders were living at the residence. On May 9 the two sex offenders were removed by the MDOC during the night from the property. Since that time, township officials have grappled with what’s next for the facility. Trustees agreed that they need to continue working on this issue, since the owner has a temporary license for the group home that lasts six months, which began on April 25.
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Brandon substation commander Lt. Greg Glover, said at the township meeting there have been seven calls to the residence in the last three months.
“If that guy makes his six months, we’re never going to get rid of him,” said Glover. “Whatever the township is doing has to stay full speed, foot on the gas pedal, because when he makes that six months, he’s going to move whoever he wants in there and we’re not going to have any control over it. I had direct conversation with MDOC, I get a list every month of parolees that lie in the township, we never received a letter about those moving into the group home. The conversation I had with Heather from MDOC was that those two (sex offenders) had a sort of handicap, and that they were put into that house temporarily.”
Township trustee Bob Marshall expressed concern regarding the group home.
“I’ve been in ongoing contact with the residents of the sleepy hollow neighborhood,” said Marshall. “There have been repeated reports of workers of the group home driving recklessly as they were either leaving or arriving (at) the residence. It is obvious that the owner and the workers are harassing this community.”
Nearby residents have also made complaints about employees of the group home to the police.
According to an Oakland County Sheriff report, at 11:10 p.m., May 29, Brandon deputies responded to a larceny near the Sleepy Hollow address. The complainant reported his sign advising “Save you kids/no criminal group homes in the community” was removed from his yard. The complainant showed the deputy a video on his cellular phone, that was recorded from his home security system. The van and subject associated with 301 Sleepy Hollow were located. The individual was issued a citation for the larceny.
Other police reports regarding signs stolen were stated at the meeting.
“It was my sign that was stolen, and it wasn’t just the one incident. Somebody drove over my lawn, over that sign,” said Margaret Green, who lives near the group home on Sleepy Hollow. “The white van that services the residents at the home, pulled up, got out of the van, went to my property, took the sign, turned around and drove back up to the house,”
She also filed complaints with the police about incidents of people running her lawn sign over with a vehicle.
“We had sexual predators living there and now we have criminals working there.”