by Scott McClallen
Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens was arraigned Thursday in Mt. Clemens District Court for a charge related to fraudulently applying for a “CARES ACT” grant in November 2020.
Owens received $10,000 from the Macomb County grant, according to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Mayor was charged with false pretenses of $1,000.00 or more but less than $20,000.00, a five-year felony, a news release said.
Owens was arraigned in 41B District Court. Magistrate Ryan Zemke set a $10,000.00 personal bond.
Owens hasn’t yet responded to a request from The Center Square for comment.
“I will not shy away from public corruption cases,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said in a statement. “This is not the first time my office has authorized charges involving a public servant during my two years as a county prosecutor. I ran for office to clean up public corruption. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s office represents the people. We are committed to achieving justice and following the laws of the State of Michigan. All that are accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”
In 2019, Owens was elected as Eastpointe’s first Black and youngest mayor, according to the city website.
However, in recent years Owens has placed the city in the statewide spotlight for her conduct at city council meetings.
In November 2022, The Center Square reported Owens was sued for shouting down residents during public comment who were criticizing her.
Owens, who characterized the complaints as “assault,” lost the lawsuit and a court injunction ordered residents to speak as they wish during public comment.
In January 2023, Owens blamed residents for high crime rates in a 15-minute tirade.
“That’s why the crime comes to this city; because they’re watching how you don’t respect your own mayor or your own police department… How you’re trying to sue your own community,” Owens said. “How you bash your leaders.”
Owens continued in the same rant.
“You can never say the mayor disappointed you,” Owens said. “You all disappoint me. Don’t blame the mayor for your city, blame yourselves, because it’s deep-rooted.”
Owen’s next court date is Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 1:30 p.m.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Monique Owens” by Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens. Background Photo “Courtroom” by 12019.