Board of Canvassers rejects recall petition for Jackson Co. sheriff

Posted at 7:19 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 07:19:51-04

It's back to the drawing board in the effort to get Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand out of office.

Back in February lawsuits were filed against the sheriff after claims that he was recorded making racial and sexist slurs about many Jackson employees and residents.

The problem was the language in the recall petition. The Board of Canvassers met Monday in Lansing and said the petition not specific enough to proceed forward. They want more hard evidence before the petition could possibly hit the streets of Jackson County.

It's a step back and a step forward I figured this would happen, I expected to be rejected first time after reading others," said Dean Schuette, submitted recall petition.

Dean Schuette is the father of Jackson County Sheriff Lieutenant Tommy Schuette, the first to file a lawsuit against Sheriff Steven Rand.

Tommy claims he recorded the sheriff using slurs to describe Blacks, gays, women, Hispanics, and people with disabilities.

Those recording convinced his father to try to get the sheriff recalled.

Dean said, "I've listened to the tapes I know who Steve Rand is known him since he is a child and I know his voice."

However, the Board of Canvassers hasn't heard the tapes. That was enough to get board members to unanimously reject the recall petition for lack of evidence.

Dean also submitted a list of six quotes from the tapes and feels that should have been enough.

"They want proof and proof is I can testify to the fact that this is sheriff Rand on those tapes," Dean said.

Dean Schuette is a 30-year veteran of the Jackson Police Department and thinks Rand's conduct is unacceptable for law enforcement. Which is why he'll start working on a more specific recall petition.

Dean said, "it's time for Steve to leave and we are going to stick at it until he's gone."

Sheriff Rand wasn't at the hearing, he told News 10 he's out of town.
We've asked for a comment on the board's decision to reject the petition.
We'll have an update when he responds.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners stripped Rand of his benefits when he refused to resign in April.

The only ways to force him out are a recall or by getting the governor to remove him from office.

Back in February, county leaders asked Governor Rick Snyder to do just that.

The Governor referred the case to the Attorney General's Office, but no decision has been made as of October 8th.