In last week’s offering of the Pioneer-Osceola Edition, an article was published discussing the debate between court officials and the Osceola Road Commission as to “ ... the question of who can appoint, and who can be a weighmaster in Osceola County.”
It was noted that the Osceola Board of Commissioners “ ... recently received a clarification from Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office ...” on this matter.
To clarify, the letter sent from the Attorney General’s office was directed to State Rep. Phil Potvin and communicated to the commissioners from his office.
It was clearly stated in the article that the letter response to the Board of Commissioners “ ... was an informal opinion not a more formal official legal opinion.”
Nevertheless, some readers may have gotten the impression that the letter communicated to Osceola County through Potvin’s office was an Attorney General’s opinion.
The letter sent on July 13 was not a “legal opinion.” Richard Bandstra, chief legal counsel, specifically pointed out, “Due to the subject matter of your request, I asked staff in the Criminal Division to review your letter. The following represents their findings.”
To wit, the article discussed the “findings” of legal staff in Lansing, and not an official, gazetted Attorney General’s opinion.
Again, although the article published in this newspaper specifically discusses a “clarification” of the issue, some readers may have understood it discussed a formal “opinion” by the Attorney General.
It did not.