Recall campaign launched after Michigan County officials used COVID-19 money for bonuses
CORUNNA, Michigan (AP) – Three elected officials who voted to award themselves bonuses with federal COVID-19 money face a recall campaign in Shiawassee County.
The county election commission approved the wording of the petition on Tuesday, The Argus-Press reported.
Read more: Officials used COVID-19 money for bonuses
If the petition survives an appeal after 10 days, supporters of the recall plan to start collecting signatures to force an election in 2022, around 1,100 for each of the county commissioners targeted: Jeremy Root, Cindy Garber and John Plowman.
The language of the petition says that the three committed “wrongdoing for knowingly harming the people”, among other reasons.
After much controversy and a legal opinion from the county prosecutor, the commissioners decided in July to return the “risk premium”. Root received $ 25,000, Plowman received $ 10,000, and Garber received $ 5,000.
Related: Official who gave himself $ 25,000 bonus from Covid relief fund resigns as president
The bonuses were approved as part of a plan to distribute $ 557,000 in federal virus relief to grassroots workers and county officials. A judge later ordered the county to recover payments over $ 5,000, citing probable violations of a town hall law.
Root, Garber and Plowman did not attend the local election commission meeting, although Plowman was represented by his son.
“Vague points, not factual, not concise, not clear.… This is why the petition should not be granted,” said Michael Plowman.