Mark Hackel

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Mark Hackel
Mark Hackel Formal.JPG
1st Macomb County Executive
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Preceded by Position established
51st Macomb County Sheriff
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Ronald Tuscany
Succeeded by Anthony Wickersham
Personal details
Born (1962-05-15) May 15, 1962 (age 52)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tracie Damschroder (m. 2014)
Alma mater Wayne State University
Central Michigan University

Mark Allen Hackel is the County Executive of Macomb County, Michigan, and is the first person to hold that position. He began his current 4-year term on January 1, 2011. Prior to serving as County Executive he served 10 years as Macomb County Sheriff from 2001–2010, being elected to 4-year terms in 2000, 2004 and 2008. He resigned as Sheriff on December 31, 2010 to begin his term as County Executive. Hackel served with the sheriff's department starting in 1981.


Mark's educational background includes a high school education from Sterling Heights High School, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Wayne State University in Criminal Justice, and a Master Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. He has also trained at the FBI's National Academy and the U.S. Secret Service's dignitary protection school. He also taught at Macomb Community College, where he met his fiancé, Tracie Damschroder,[1] as well at Wayne State University, and hosted a local cable show called Executive Focus.[2]

Macomb County Sheriff[edit]

Hackel's father, William H. Hackel, was elected six times[3] as Macomb County Sheriff, serving from January 1, 1977 to April 27, 2000.[4] William Hackel resigned as sheriff after being convicted on April 27, 2000, of two counts of third-degree criminal-sexual conduct.[3] William Hackel was immediately succeeded by Undersheriff Ronald P. Tuscany, who served the final seven months of William Hackel's term as interim Sheriff.[4] William Hackel was eventually sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison for his crime by Isabella County Circuit Court Judge Paul Chamberlain[5] and was released from prison on April 24, 2003.[6]

Mark won the Democratic nomination for sheriff on August 8, 2000, capturing 46% of the vote in a 15-person primary.[7] He defeated Republican Steve Thomas in November 2000, winning 52% of the vote to become County Sheriff. Hackel won re-election in 2004 and 2008, defeating Republican Kristi Dean both times. In his 2008 win over Dean, he received 78.4 percent of the vote and set a new record of 314,778 total votes for a county wide elected office[8]

Sheriff Hackel and his office came to national prominence in the investigation regarding the death of Tara Grant in 2007, which resulted in a murder charge being brought against her husband, Stephen Grant.[9] Grant was convicted of second-degree murder in his wife's death in December 2007[10] and was sentenced to 50 to 80 years in prison by Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Diane Druzinski in February 2008.[11]

County Executive[edit]

On December 3, 2008 Sheriff Hackel announced that he had formed an exploratory committee looking at the possibility of a run for Governor of Michigan in 2010. He later decided against running for governor, and instead ran for the new position of Macomb County Executive which was approved by voters in 2008.[12]

Hackel was unopposed in the Democratic primary and won the nomination uncontested. On November 2, 2010 he was elected the first ever Macomb County Executive, receiving 66 percent of the vote and defeating Republican Randell Shaffer who had 31 percent and Libertarian Erin Stahl who had 3 percent.[13] Hackel resigned his position as sheriff on December 31, 2010 and took office as County Executive for a 4-year term starting on January 1, 2011.[14]

On December 7, 2010 Hackel named Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Mark Deldin as his Deputy County Executive, where he will serve as second-in-command.[15]

Hackel defeated Republican David Novak in November 2014 to win a second-term as County Executive, taking 69 percent of almost 260,000 votes.[16]

Clashes with Macomb Board of Commissioners[edit]

In his time as Executive, Hackel has had troubles with the Macomb County Board of Commissioners over what powers the 13-member board has in the new style of county government that was approved by voters in 2008. Issues first arose in October 2011 on whether the Board or Hackel had the final authority to approve contracts for the county.[17]

Hackel sued the Board in Macomb County Circuit on February 29, 2012, over the Board's override of one of his vetoes.[18] Hackel said the lawsuit "...the (Hackel) administration argues that the board’s definition of contracts and purchases, including multiple expenditures related to the same item or project, violates the “clear separation of powers” that voters embraced in the charter. For example, the commissioners want to approve or reject a series of related contracts that add up to $35,000 over a 1-year period.".[19]

On May 14, 2012, Circuit Court Judge John Foster ruled in Hackel's favor saying "the power to make expenditures following an appropriation is an executive function which is properly exercised by the County Executive.".[20] Hackel said of the ruling, "“I think it’s going to finally get them (the Board) to understand the relationship. They do not run county government. They should just allow me to do my job according to the charter.”.[21]

The Board, let by Chairwoman Kathy Vosburg, R-Chesterfield appealed the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals. In a unanimous decision announced on October 30, 2012, the court reversed the lower court decision, ruling against Hackel saying "The Macomb County Charter unambiguously grants to the Commission the discretionary authority to approve contracts.”.[22] Hackel said of the ruling, "We don’t see this as an unfavorable ruling even though the terminology is it’s overturning the ruling of the circuit court.” The Hackel administration did not appeal the ruling to the Michigan Supreme Court.

In 2013, Hackel told reporters that his New Year's Resolution was to communicate with the Board on a one-on-one basis and said “I am here looking to work with you. There are tremendous opportunities in Macomb County to take advantage of, and I hope to engage all of you in working toward that progress.”.[23]

Political Future[edit]

Hackel has twice flirted with running for Governor of Michigan. On December 3, 2008, he announced he had formed an exploratory committee to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2010 Gubernatorial race.[24] Hackel eventually decided against it and instead was elected Macomb County Executive. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was the eventual Democratic nominee,[25] defeating Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon. Bernero eventually lost to Republican nominee Rick Snyder in the general election.[26]

In October 2012, Hackel was reportedly considering running for governor in 2014.[27] But in January 2013 at the Detroit International Auto Show, along with announcing his engagement, Hackel announced that would not run for Governor in 2014 but instead focus on running for re-election as County Executive, but did not rule out a run for Governor in 2018, should Snyder be re-elected in 2014.[1]

Electoral History[edit]

2000 Macomb County Sheriff Election[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mark Hackel 172,466 52.0 N/A
Republican Steve Thomas 150,990 45.5 N/A
Libertarian Albert Titran 4,122 1.2 N/A
Reform Joe Grahm 4,093 1.2 N/A
2004 Macomb County Sheriff Election[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mark Hackel (I) 275,723 71.9 +19.9
Republican Kristi Dean 107,848 28.1 -17.4
2008 Macomb County Sheriff Election[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mark Hackel (I) 314,816 78.4 +6.5
Republican Kristi Dean 86,810 21.6 -6.5
2010 Macomb County Executive Election[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mark Hackel 174,245 65.8 N/A
Republican Randel Shaffer 81,981 31.0 N/A
Libertarian Erin Stahl 8,490 3.2 N/A
2014 Macomb County Executive Election[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mark Hackel (I) 179,041 69.0 +3.2
Republican David J. Novak 80,290 31.0 0.0


  1. ^ a b Chad Selweski (February 22, 2013). "Mark Hackel preparing for marriage, not a run for governor". Macomb Daily. 
  2. ^ "Mark A. Hackel, Macomb County Executive". 
  3. ^ a b Anthony Judnich (April 28, 2000). "Hackel found guilty of rape". Central Michigan Life. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Macomb County Sheriff History". 
  5. ^ Anthony Judnich (May 17, 2000). "Hackel sentenced to 3-15 years in prison". Central Michigan Life. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ ALEXA CAPELOTO (April 24, 2003). "Ex-Macomb sheriff Hackel is free today". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ "2000 Vote: Sheriff". Macomb County Clerk's Office. 2000-08-08. Retrieved 2010-12-02. 
  8. ^ Mitch Hotts (December 4, 2008). "Hackel reveals plan to run for governor". Macomb Daily. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ ARBOSCELLO, CHRISTY (5 March 2007). "Grant admits he killed and cut up wife, sheriff says" (online). The Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  10. ^ "Jury finds Stephen Grant guilty of 2nd-degree murder". Macomb Daily. December 21, 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Grant sentenced to 50-80 years". Associated Press. February 21, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ Jonathan Oosting (February 24, 2010). "Sheriff Mark Hackel expected to launch campaign for Macomb County Executive (or governor?)". Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Macomb County Election Results". Detroit Free Press. November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  14. ^ Christina Hall (November 4, 2010). "Hackel gets ready to step into his new role". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 9, 2010. 
  15. ^ Christian Hall (December 7, 2010). "Macomb County Executive-elect Mark Hackel chooses school chief as deputy executive". Detroit Free Press. 
  16. ^ Chad Selweski (November 4, 2014). "Hackel easily wins re-election as Macomb Executive". Macomb Daily. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ Eric D. Lawrence (October 23, 2011). "Macomb County commissioners clash with Executive Mark Hackel". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Hackel Files Suit Against Board Of Commissioners". CBS Detroit. February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  19. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "MACOMB COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT Case No. 2012-0916-CZ MARK HACKEL, Macomb County Executive, vs. MACOMB COUNTY COMMISSION". May 14, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ Eric D. Lawrence (May 14, 2012). "Judge gives Mark Hackel court victory over commissioners". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ "No. 310402 Macomb Circuit Court MARK HACKEL v MACOMB COUNTY COMMISSION". October 30, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  23. ^ Chad Selweski (January 4, 2013). "Hackel, new board chair vow civility". The Voice. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Sheriff Considers Running for Governor". December 3, 2008. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Election Results PRIMARY ELECTION". August 3, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Election Results GENERAL ELECTION". November 2, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel again mulling a run for governor?". Macomb Daily. October 5, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ "2000 Macomb County Sheriff Election". November 7, 2000. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ "2004 Macomb County Sheriff Election". November 2, 2004. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  30. ^ "2008 Macomb County Sheriff Election". November 19, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  31. ^ "2010 Macomb County Executive Election". November 15, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "2014 Macomb County Executive Election". November 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]