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Mackinac County commissioners to appear in court for attempting to close meeting -

The Mackinac County Board of Commissioners and its veterans affairs committee are scheduled to appear in court next week.

The board was served an injunction in response to a meeting that was scheduled to take place behind closed doors on Wednesday.

According to a memorandum of understanding obtained by WCMU, the closed session was scheduled to discuss the future of the veterans affairs committee. The injunction alleged this session was illegal.

In the document, commissioners revealed their intent to file a motion to dissolve the committee following the closed session and replace it with a soldiers’ relief commission.

However, Dick Pershinske, the veterans affairs committee chairman, said the transition period between dissolving the commission and setting up the new system could force veterans in the county to look for assistance in neighboring counties.

"In most cases, those counties will help, but we've known cases where they did not help,” he said. “They're not obligated to help. So, it would be a serious situation for veterans seeking assistance during this time frame when they're trying to get reorganized."

Pershinske says he expects discussions surrounding the committee to resume during the Board of Commissioners meeting next month.

“What happens from this point forward? I really don’t know,” he said. “But the bottom line here is that we are just trying to make sure that we can service the veterans of Mackinac County. Plain and simple.”

The committee is in charge of helping guide veterans through the administrative process of obtaining benefits.

Pershinske says the committee will continue these services while deliberations surrounding its future continue.

Daniel Litzner, chair of the Mackinac County Board of Commissioners, did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

Renae is a newsroom intern covering northwest Lower Michigan for WCMU.