Community members in Davison, Michigan have worked together to get more than enough signatures to remove a Republican official from the local school board.
The Committee for School Board Integrity announced their success which will lead to a recall election for Matthew Smith—who also served as the Genesee County GOP Chairman—from the Davison Board of Education.
The whole incident came about because of a harassing call Smith made in March 2020.
Two years ago, Smith made a call to Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly, during which he threatened to kill her dogs.
Smith’s friend was running against Kelly, and he thought his threats were helping.
Since then, Smith has been targeted for recall, with members of the community not taking kindly to harassing telephone calls or threats against animals.
Commenters online felt the same.
Smith initially tried to claim his phone was spoofed and he didn’t actually call Kelly.
However, after a police investigation, he admitted to the harassing call. He then changed his defense to he just intended to “annoy” her and he was wrong, but claims he never threatened Kelly’s dogs.
Was the media in a frenzy over him for nothing?
Smith eventually pled guilty to the misdemeanor for a harassing phone call.
After this, the school board censured him for lying about the call during the investigation. On January 11, Judge Crawford sentenced Smith to 1 year probation, a $650 fine, 240 hours of community service and to write an essay on the effects of bullying under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
Despite this, Smith still insists he didn’t threaten Kelly’s dogs.
The recall needed about 3,600 signatures, or 25% of the total votes cast in Davison for all candidates of Governor in the last election.
They ended up with 4,100.
Genesee County will need to verify the signatures and has 35 days to set a special election. The election will take place in either May or November.