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Board strips Sheriff of his benefits

Posted at 8:17 AM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 08:17:00-04

"Beginning healing and leadership change that's going to fix the problem," said Chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, James Shotwell Jr.

That is the reason why the Board of Commissioners voted to strip Sheriff Steven Rand of his benefits. 
The chairman of the board tells FOX 47's Alani Letang why they felt they had no other choice after the sheriff was recorded making sexist and racist remarks.

"Resolution passes 8-0," announced Shotwell during Tuesday's board meeting.

Shotwell told Letang the county has used this process of eliminating benefits before like when it was negotiating to get a full-time road commissioner to retire.

He said he was hoping the situation with Sheriff Rand wouldn't come to this.

"That's why we gave him 30 days notice. We thought that that would be a fair and just way to do it. We'd like a separation between the county and Sheriff Rand," said Shotwell

The County Board of Commissioners said the focus of today's vote was to begin the healing process for the community by trying to bring new leadership.

"And for us to begin solving the issues in the sheriff's department and the only way to do that is with him retired," said Shotwell.

The result is whenever Sheriff Rand retires he won't have any of the fringe benefits he's earned in his 25 years of service. Which include health insurance, county-owned work vehicle, and longevity pay.
But ultimately the only way Rand can be forced to leave before the next election is if Governor Rick Snyder removes him from office.

Shotwell said, "they have a process, they have it in place, it takes time to do things because you want to be throughout and respectful of this process, you want to be fair to the sheriff."

The board calls this process as fair as they can be. The board could not legally cut Sheriff Rand's salary or strip him of his pension.