Former OU student body president indicted

Former Oakland University student Michael McGuinness has been indicted on charges of perjury and forgery.

McGuinness, 27, a former Oakland County Democratic Party chairman, and party employee Jason Bauer are implicated in an alleged fraudulent scheme that involved attempting to place fake candidates onto Michigan ballots last fall.

“I loved my time at Oakland University and was pleased to make a positive impact on the campus. I intend to clear my name and am cooperating with the legal process underway,” McGuinness said.

The two men appeared in court Wednesday, March 16. McGuinness was charged with three counts of falsely swearing to register or vote and two counts of uttering and publishing.

He posted bail, which was set at $25,000.

On Aug. 25, 2010 The Oakland Press reported that Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson declared his intention to petition the Oakland County Circuit Court to create a grand jury to look into accusations of political corruption.

Ruth Johnson, who was then serving as the Oakland County clerk and register of deeds, announced that some Tea Party candidate filings could be false.

A letter sent from a listed candidate who said he had no intention of running in the county commission election tipped off authorities.

The charge for perjury stems from McGuinness or Bauer allegedly swearing under oath while posing as false candidates.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Johnson noted that Bauer was listed as the notary on multiple candidate filings.

McGuinness was running as a write-in candidate for the county commission when all this unfurled, but withdrew from the race.

An arraignment date was set for April 13.

The grand jury investigation, which has been going on for six months, is continuing to look at further charges.

McGuinness, who graduated in 2010, served as the OU student body vice president during the 2004-05 school year. He was elected as student body president the following year.

Saman Waquad, who served as student body vice president during the 2009-10 school year, said the situation was “unfortunate.”

She served on McGuinness’ executive board during his full OU Student Congress presidential term.

“I can never imagine (McGuinness) as being responsible for something so unethical,” Waquad said.

Christine Stover described him as “fair, thoughtful and thorough” during the time she knew him.

“Based on my interactions with (McGuinness), this news comes as a complete surprise,” said Stover, who is an adjunct faculty member.

As the adviser for the campus radio station, Stover sat on its advisory board with McGuinness.

“He was one of the most respected student leaders on campus: someone you could go to — approachable,” Stover said.

McGuinness was also president for the 2006 fall semester.