Commissioners threaten to strip Jackson sheriff of benefits

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – On Tuesday of next week, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners will vote on a resolution that if passed will strip the sheriff of several of his job benefits.

This comes after the sheriff was recorded making racist, homophobic and sexist remarks while on the job.

That resolution includes Sheriff Steve Rand’s health care and life insurance, his county-owned vehicle and fringe benefits including paid time off.

Legally the county board can’t take away the sheriff’s salary.

But according to the Chair of the County Board of Commissioners, the fate of this resolution ultimately lies in the hands of the sheriff.

“We’re trying to send the message that we don’t believe the sheriff can lead and we believe that he should separate from the county,” said James (Steve) Shotwell Jr.; Chair of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

Shotwell says either Sheriff Steve Rand can turn in his badge and resign by Tuesday of next week or he can stay on the job and possibly risk losing benefits if the resolution moves forward.

“We hope for it to be amicable but we still feel we’re doing everything we can and we want to show the community that we’re doing that,” Shotwell stated.

Since March 4th, Sheriff Rand has been eligible for retirement. In fact, documents show that he’s even bought time to retire early, but has refused to do so even when asked to.

Shotwell says in order for the community to move forward, Sheriff Rand must step down.

“We would hope that the community could begin the healing process then. There’s going to be a time period when we have to wait for the committee…it’s made up of the prosecutor, the chief probate judge and the clerk to appoint a new,” said Shotwell.

A new sheriff, but Shotwell says that will only happen if and when Rand resigns.

Shotwell also mentioned that the board did speak to the sheriff earlier this month letting him know of their intentions.

6 News did reach out to Sheriff Rand for comment but did not hear back from him.

The Board of Commissioners plans to meet on Tuesday for a “study session” that starts at 8am to discuss the resolution.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

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