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Shelby Township clerk accused of being “false elector” has been stripped of elections duties

The defendants are accused of secretly meeting on Dec. 14, 2020 to submit forged certificates falsely confirming that Michigan had voted for Donald Trump, despite Joe Biden’s victory.

A wide view of the Michigan State Capitol building with a cloudy sky behind.

Michigan State Capitol building located in Lansing, Michigan.

Elaine Cromie / Chalkbeat

The Shelby Township clerk who has been criminally charged as part of an alleged “false electors” scheme to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald Trump has been ordered to step aside from his official election duties.

Michigan Elections Director Jonathan Brater Thursday sent an official letter informing Stanley Grot, a longtime Republican politician, that he is being relieved of duties related to elections administration while the criminal case against him plays out. 

Grot and 15 others were charged Tuesday by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel with:

  • One count of conspiracy to commit forgery, a 14-year felony;
  • Two counts of forgery, a 14-year felony;
  • One count of conspiracy to commit uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony;
  • One count of uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony;
  • One count of conspiracy to commit election law forgery, a 14-year felony; 
  • Two counts of election law forgery, a 5-year felony.

The defendants are accused of secretly meeting on Dec. 14, 2020 in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters to hatch a plan to submit forged certificates falsely confirming the state had voted for Trump, despite Joe Biden’s victory. 

“These false documents were then transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan,” Nessel said in a press release Tuesday announcing the felony charges.,” Nessel, a Democrat, said in a press release Tuesday announcing the felony charges.

Grot, 71, was appointed Shelby Township clerk in February 2012, then elected in November 2012 and has been in the position since then. He previously served as a Sterling Heights city councilman and as a Macomb county commissioner.

In the three-page letter, dated July 20, 2023, Brater informed Grot that he is to refrain from performing his official election duties until and unless the matter is resolved in his favor.

“Allegations that you have violated Michigan criminal and election statutes by attempting to award the state’s electoral votes to candidates other than those actually elected by the people of Michigan fundamentally undermines voter confidence in the integrity of elections,” Brater wrote.

Brater added: “Therefore, in order to ensure public trust and confidence in the integrity and security of elections, I am instructing you to refrain from administering any elections held in Shelby Township while these charges are pending against you.”

Grot did not respond to calls and emails from Votebeat Michigan over two days.

On Wednesday, before Brater’s letter, Macomb County Clerk Anthony Forlini defended Grot’s work record, saying, “He’s done a good job and there’s been no controversy in what he’s done in his job as the clerk.”

Forlini, a Republican, said he doesn’t think the case “has anything to do with him being a clerk.”

The 15 others charged in addition to Grot are: former Michigan Republican Party co-chair Meshawn Maddock of Milford; Wyoming, Mich., Mayor Kent Vanderwood; Kathy Berden of Snover;  William (Hank) Choate of Cement City; Amy Facchinello of Grand Blanc;  Clifford Frost of Warren; John Haggard of Charlevoix; Mary-Ann Henry of Brighton; Timothy King of Ypsilanti; Michele Lundgren of Detroit; James Renner of Lansing; Mayra Rodriguez of Grosse Pointe Farms; Rose Rook of Paw Paw; Marian Sheridan of West Bloomfield; and Ken Thompson of Orleans. 

Nessell said Tuesday that “the false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan.”

July 21, 2023: This article has been updated to provide the full list of people who have been charged in the case.

Oralandar Brand-Williams is a senior reporter for Votebeat in partnership with Bridge Michigan. Contact Oralandar at obrand-williams@votebeat.org.

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