Michigan County Council votes to withdraw funding for sheriff who conducted small investigation in 2020
Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf is being investigated for allegedly tampering with voting machines.
Dar Leaf, the Barry County sheriff in Michigan, lost funding for his department when the county’s all-Republican Board of Commissioners voted to revoke the stipend he made for an additional detective for Dar Leaf Sheriff’s Department.
The Bridge Michigan website reported Oct. 28 that the council allocated funds last year to hire a third detective for the department to investigate violent crimes.
Leaf told the council in October that only one detective was assigned to violent crimes, while the other detective was solely focused on investigating the 2020 election and the third detective position was vacant. The sheriff defended that staff decision, telling council that “some things are going to happen,” according to the website.
Leaf is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a group of law enforcement officers who promote the idea that county sheriffs represent the ultimate legal authority in their jurisdictions, above state authorities. and federal, on the basis of the oath they take to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Barry County Republican District Attorney Julie Nakfoor Pratt told the county board on Oct. 25 that her department needs detectives from the sheriff’s office to investigate violent crimes, not track down ghost incidents of voter fraud:
There is no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in this county. There’s just not that I can see. It’s been a year and a half. … If you have something, bring it; if you don’t, let’s move on. … We have things to do that are really important. We have victims who suffer, houses broken into. We even have a bank robbery that we’re trying to figure out. We have children who are sexually abused. We have adults who are sexually assaulted. We have stolen cars. We have mentally ill people who need our help.
Leaf is being investigated for an alleged plan to access and tamper with voter tabulation machines in several Michigan townships. The investigation by the state attorney general and state police involves several other prominent Michigan Republicans, including state Rep. Daire Rendon; Republican Attorney General nominee Matt DePerno; and attorney Stephanie Lambert, who was part of former President Donald Trump’s legal team.
The Michigan Republicans under investigation all amplified Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Pratt said she had a “heated” meeting about voter fraud with Leaf and Lambert in June 2021. A year later, they came to her asking for a warrant to inspect voter tabulation machines. She and one of her colleagues found no probable cause, so they denied the claim.
Betsy Colgen, a scrutineer for four years, told the council that allegations of widespread voter fraud were unfounded and urged anyone in doubt to organize an election to understand the process.
“It’s impossible to change votes, to play with the machine. There are so many checks and balances, it’s just unbelievable, every step of the way,” Colgen said.
At the board meeting, Leaf claimed without evidence that the voting machines could be programmed to reverse votes from one candidate to another.
“The machines are computerized, folks,” Leaf said.
He also suggested his investigation could extend far beyond Barry County, saying he was in contact with “whistleblowers” from Venezuela – a comment that had the room laughing.
Bridge Michigan reported that Barry County Commissioner Ben Geiger was prepared to drop Sheriff Leaf’s investigations: “We are pleased to hear that he found no wrongdoing in the Barry County election, We’re glad the prosecutor found nothing wrong with the Barry County election, so we’re hoping it ends very soon.
Published with permission of the American Independent Foundation.