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Flint, MI– Genesee County Clerk John Gleason has put his election supervisor on unpaid administrative leave following ballot tampering charges and demands from the county commission for suspension.
Election Supervisor Kathy Funk was arraigned on March 14, 2022 for two charges related to ballot tampering. The charges are from 2020, when Funk was the clerk of Flint Township.
On March 16, the Genesee County Commissioner Bryant Nolden made the motion to demand that Gleason suspend Funk without pay in light of those charges and was unanimously supported by the commissioners.
“We don’t have the ability to suspend a supervisor, but we do have the power of the purse,” Nolden said. “We need to send a clear message to Gleason that his behavior is unacceptable and the residents deserve better than what he has given us.”
Gleason did not make the decision to put Funk on administrative leave without pay until the following day.
He said he made this decision “because of the pending charges” but wanted to take his time and get “as many facts” as he could before acting on the commission’s demand.
“I just can’t be reckless and spontaneous like they (the board of commissioners) were. That’s not what I’m elected to do,” Gleason said. “I’m elected to get as much information as I can and follow the law, give her her rights, and make sure I don’t put this office or the county in harm’s way, legally.”
Gleason said he won’t be following Funk’s case and will focus on overseeing his four departments.
“I just have to continue administering four county-wide offices. She’s going to have to let me know what the status is,” Gleason said.
Funk is scheduled for a probable cause conference on March 24.