LANSING, Mich. — The Ingham County Election Commission has rejected a recall petition for Lansing City Councilman Brandon Betz.
Undra Brown, who submitted the petition in October, said he plans to submit another version.
"The commission decided that since the filer was not a qualified voter in Ward 1, that the individual is not a proper filer of the petition language,” said Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. “So, it was not the petition language, but the process that was actually followed.”
Brown has admitted to being a new resident in Ward 1, but he is now a registered voter in the district. He said the new version of the petition will have different language and he’s working with Liz Abdnour, an attorney who is now co-sponsor of the Betz recall effort.
“He’s not doing any of the things that the ward elected him to do,” Abdnour said. “He has indicated on multiple occasions that he’s not going to be available to us and who knows when he may decide at another point to lash out on a community member.”
The controversy surrounding Betz started back in February after he sent mocking text messages to Black activist Michael Lynn Jr. Betz did not explain his reasons for sending the text messages, but he did say he was friends with Lynn and it involved a personal issue. Not even a week after the text message screenshots hit social media, Betz had all of his committee assignments stripped from him.
“Not having a committee assignment doesn’t mean, I’m not working, and in fact, those committee assignments will be coming back very soon,” Betz said.
Betz’s term is up in 2023 and he’s expecting to have his committee assignments back next year.
“The reason they got rid of them is because they wanted to have my situation reviewed by the ethics committee and they found I did nothing illegal, so it’s about time for my committee assignments to be restored and I have the support of council to do that,” Betz said.
But whether Betz gets his committee assignments back or not, Brown said it’s time for him to step away from Council
Brown has even created a Facebook page and website, in hopes of getting more people to support the recall petition.
“I have no other intentions other than removing Brandon and allowing someone who can influence policy and represent the 1st Ward and respond to constituents to replace him,” Brown said.