Mayoral Race Gets Funny Money?

Written by John Face

November 4, 2022

Albions Mayoral race has been well contested by two candidates who seem hell bent to get the job. Victoria Garcia-Snyder running as the incumbent and political newcomer Keena Williams who wishes to unseat her. Snyder who has received the endorsement of City Watch NEWS has conducted herself as a fine Mayor for Albion while representing the city and conducting meetings with a council filled with former Albion College Mathew Johnson and former Albion Mayor Garrett Brown cult followers.

Albion College Connection

It’s no secret that Williams worked at Albion College during then President Mathew Johnsons, short thankfully, tenure. She was originally hired by Maurie Ditzler another former Albion President. City Watch just two days ago wrote an article discussing her connection with Johnson though. CLICK HERE TO READ THAT STORY

It Always comes Down to This – Follow the Money

City Watch interviewed both candidates prior to our endorsement. We asked each candidate if they were up to date on their financial filings with Calhoun County Elections. Williams and Snyder both said they will be soon. We then asked: Will you supply me names of individuals, organizations and companies who have donated a total of $200 or more to your campaign?  If not, remembering ultimately those are available after the election via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), why not?  Snyder agreed to turn over the information whenever I needed it.

Williams reply was: “— Donations continue to come in almost every day, and I am grateful for that. In order to ensure that you have the most complete list of contributors to my campaign, I would encourage you to FOIA that information after the election”.

Well after the election is a grand idea if you think that your donors may raise eyebrows. Yesterday, City Watch NEWS submitted a FOIA for the financial records for both Williams and Snyder and this is what we found.

The Williams campaign had submitted their paperwork on finances and the Snyder campaign had yet to submit theirs but had asked for and received an extension. City Watch was already aware of Snyder donors as she supplied them to us. As this author went through the list of donors of Williams one name stood out. That was Michael Harrington of Carmel Indiana. Does that name sound familiar? It should. Harrington is the former Chair of the Albion College Board of Trustees. Harrington was leading the Board during the Johnson debacle and is widely credited in forcing the board into hiring Johnson. Even when questions of Johnsons recent demotion prior to coming to Albion College caused concern. Harrington resigned suddenly earlier this year from the Board of Trustees.

Harrington donated $1000.00 to the Williams campaign on August 30, 2022. It was Harrington who snidely stated to Dick Lindsey that Johnson was not going anywhere and that he had the support of the board. Later Johnson would resign in disgrace. Harrington played an active role in making sure that the college does not apologize to Hazel Lias regarding Johnsons treatment of her. It is worth noting that Lindsey has donated $200.00 of his own money to the Williams campaign as well.

There are other notable contributors to the campaign. George Harvey of Ypsilanti gave $1,050.00, and Williams herself has donated over $1,200.00 to her own campaign. For the reason of fairness, the Snyder campaign received a $1,000.00 donation from her mother-in-law Barbara Snyder plus William and Karen Dobbins gave $500.00 as the second highest donor. These were the top donors for her.

Why the Need to get Williams Elected?

City Watch has spoken with several sources over the last few months and some disturbing concerns are coming to light. There is an effort now to eliminate current Albion City Manager Haley Snyder and replace her with either Garrett Brown or Albion College employee Ashley Woodson. Williams is a friend of both, and both have served as advisors on her campaign. It is no secret that Brown has long wished to “lead” Albion. As City Manager he would be able to do that and having Williams as Mayor gives him complete control of council agenda. Why would the college care about Williams getting elected? Well, she along with other members of council have been vocal about their blind support of Mat Johnson, the former President. A College cozy council will give little oversight of the college actions.

Johnson has been very active in the community since his disgraceful exit. Sources claim he calls several times a week to speak to current Interim President Joe Calvaruso. Why either needs to talk is concerning and more proof that Albion College needs to find a Johnson successor as soon as possible.

City Watch will share more this weekend.

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