Patterson diagnosed with cancer, will keep working

Surrounded by family, friends, and supporters inside the county building which bears his name, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced yesterday that he is fighting Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Patterson will continue to perform his duties as county executive while he receives treatment from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. He will not, however, seek an eighth term in office next year.

“Alex Trebek has nothing on me. I’m fighting this cancer to be among the 10 percent who survive it,” said Patterson who received the official diagnosis on March 15. “I will continue to do
my job as Oakland County executive alongside the members of my administration who comprise the best team anywhere in government.”

Patterson, 80, is over halfway through an unprecedented seventh term as county executive. He took office on Jan. 1, 1993. In addition, he served as Oakland County prosecutor from Jan. 1, 1973 to Dec. 31, 1988.

If a vacancy were to occur in the county executive office, Chief Deputy County Executive Gerald D. Poisson shall take the constitutional oath of office and serve as county executive until the Oakland County Board of Commissioners appoints a successor or until a special election is held as provided by law (see Public Act 139 of 1973, Section 45.559a).

If the board of commissioners elects to appoint a successor, the appointment shall be made no later than 30 days from the date of the vacancy. A county executive appointed by the board of commissioners shall serve until the next general election. If the board of commissioners does not make an appointment within 30 days, a special election shall be held at the earliest possible date allowed by the law.

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