Dawsey: People Like State Treasurer Andy Dillon Get a Pass While Poor People Don’t


With the digital age affording so many reading options, it’s sometime difficult to keep up with how various news outlets handle any given story. But as far as I can tell, one of the most compelling reports in recent days — Steve Neavling’s scoop on state treasurer Andy Dillon’s five-day stay in an alcohol treatment center— has largely been downplayed, if not outright overlooked, by much of the local media.

That hasn’t stopped other outlets from raising some obvious concerns in the wake of revelations last week that Dillon spent part of last January battling what appears to be a long-time addiction to liquid courage.

To wit, Steve Dibert over at mfi-miami.com:

Dillon’s issues don’t just affect him and his family or friends, with the GOP dominated Michigan Legislature increasing the power of his office with the newly enacted Emergency Financial Manager laws, his actions while sober or intoxicated affect millions of people.

If it can be proven that Dillon was intoxicated at the time he signed any agreements or contracts on behalf of the state with any individuals or entities, a serious argument could be made that those contracts are not only voidable but even possibly void because he was not mentally competent to sign and understand what he was signing.

According to Neavling’s report, Dillon’s heavy drinking was a big open secret in metro Detroit, but perhaps not as well known in Lansing. Last week, Gov. Snyder’s office acknowledged for the first time Dillon’s battle with drink.

I don’t care much for anybody who I believe has helped lead an effort to politically disenfranchise black voters from Detroit to Ecorse, and that includes Dillon. But I’m not interested in ridiculing the man either. Substance abuse is no joke, and he should be encouraged to continue to seek help.

Still, whether you like Dillon or not, Dibert raises a key point. And neither the media nor the public can afford to pretend as though it isn’t important to consider whether, and how much, alcoholism affected Dillon’s actions and job performance.

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