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State board says 'no' to recall petition language for Jackson County sheriff


A state panel rejected recall petition language to remove Jackson County’s sheriff from office Monday.

The recall language says Sheriff Steven Rand is a "multifaceted bigot," who has made numerous slurs against blacks, gays, women and others.

Some of the comments were allegedly caught on tape.

The sheriff has apologized for his comments.

However, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers decided the allegations in the recall petition language lacked "specificity."  The board voted four to zero to reject the recall language.  

Dean Schuette is the recall campaign’s organizer. 

“I guess it’s a set back and a step forward,” says Dean Schuette, the recall campaign’s organizer. “I figured this would happen. I really expected we would be rejected the first time.”

An attorney for Rand submitted 23 pages of documentation challenging the recall language. She declined to comment on the board’s action. 

Schuette plans to resubmit his recall language with additional information backing up his claims.

If the board approves, Schuette and his supporters will need to collect more than 13,000 valid signatures in 60 days to be the recall on the ballot. Schuette says he hopes to win board approval for his recall language before the end of the year, so a recall election could be held in May. At this point, he says they have not identified a possible opponent to challenge Rand in a recall election.

Dean Schuette is a retired Jackson city police officer. His son is suing the sheriff’s officefor creating a “hostile work environment.”

Randhas refused numerous calls for his resignation.

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.