JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The controversy surrounding the Jackson County sheriff is heating up.
Three days after a bombshell lawsuit dropped that claims Sheriff Steve Rand discriminates and uses racist, sexist, disabilist, and homophobic language, community leaders are calling on him to turn in his badge.
Derek Dobies, mayor of the city of Jackson, says he was shocked when he heard the allegations about Sheriff Rand.
“It’s important for leaders, elected officials to stand up and call out that sort of behavior, make sure people understand that we’re not going to tolerate it,” Dobies said.
Dobies and four Jackson City Council members are calling on Rand to resign.
“We understand that there’s a difference between any sort of criminal wrongdoing or activity, that all needs to go through its own due process. But this is really about public trust,” Dobies said.
With the allegations about the sheriff now public knowledge, Dobies worries people won’t feel safe with him as the county’s top cop.
“When you say that sort of stuff it can have an effect beyond just the person, but I think it reflects on the agency as well,” Dobies said.
Dobies and the city council members are the first officials in Jackson County to speak out about this scandal.
Every county commissioner 6 News talked to said they’re not allowed to comment.
County administrators are also refusing on-camera interviews.
But we’re told Tuesday night commissioners will hold a closed-door meeting to discuss the sheriff, and during their open session they plan on taking action.
Dobies says it’s important for all of Jackson County to move past this controversy.
“That’s not who we are. That’s not what we represent,” Dobies said.
Because Rand was elected to the sheriff’s office options are limited to remove him.
Only a resignation, recall, or intervention from the governor can take him out of office.
A group called Citizens Against Hate is organizing a march and protest this weekend that’s calling on the sheriff to resign.
It’s happening Sunday at 2 p.m., starting at the corner of Mechanic and Biddle streets in Jackson, marching to the sheriff’s office on Wesley Street.