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Judge sentences former Genesee County elections official to probation and to write an apology

Genesee County Elections Supervisor Kathy Funk
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Genesee County Elections Supervisor Kathy Funk

A judge ordered a former Genesee County elections official to write a public apology on Monday as part of her sentence for “misconduct in office.”

In January, former Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk entered a “no contest” plea to the charge linked to allegations she tampered with a ballot container just after the 2020 August Primary. At the time, Funk was in a close re-election race.

“Misconduct in Office” is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. But as part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to no jail time for Funk.

Instead, Circuit Court Judge Mark Latchana sentenced Funk to 24-months probation, along with a fine and court costs. She’ll also be on an electronic tether for 180 days

In handing down the sentence, the judge stressed the importance of “election integrity.”

“If you’re about election integrity, then the important part is the election is secure,” Judge Latchana said from the bench.

Karyn Miller is the Flint Township Supervisor. Miller said she’s glad the sentencing brings the case to a close.

“I’m not sure how I feel about the sentence,” Miller said. “ But I am pleased that the judge made it crystal clear that this was her responsibility and she has to be accountable for it.”

After leaving her job as Flint Township Clerk, Kathy Funk served briefly as Genesee County’s Elections Supervisor. But she was put on administrative leave after criminal charges were filed against her. County officials terminated her employment last year.

During the hearing, Kathy Funk’s attorney said she is “unemployed and unemployable in her chosen field.”

Funk spoke sparingly during the Monday morning hearing in 7th Circuit Court.

She declined to comment after the hearing.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.