Nessel will not pursue charges against Grand Traverse County Commissioner

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Dana Nessel

In this June 4, 2019, photo, Dana Nessel, Attorney General of Michigan, listens to a question from reporters in Detroit. Hundreds of boxes. Millions of records. From Texas to Michigan this month, attorneys general are sifting through “secret” files, nondisclosure agreements between the church and families, heart wrenching letters from parents begging for action, priests’ own psychiatric evaluations. They’re looking to prosecute, and not just priests. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) —- Attorney General Dana Nessel will not be pursuing charges against Grant Traverse County Commissioner Ronald Clous after he wielded a rifle during a virtual board meeting earlier this year.

During a January meeting of the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners via Zoom, a community member was talking about a previous meeting where two members of the Proud Boys, addressed the board in support of adoption of the Second Amendment Sanctuary status.

While the community member was making their comment, Clous got up and went out of the camera frame, and then came back with a rifle in hand. When reviewed, the recording showed that Clous held the rifle across his chest before setting it out of frame; Clous never pointed the rifle at the camera.

Local officials then discussed the incident with AG Nessel, and a complaint was filed with Michigan State Police. To avoid any conflict of interest, the complaint was then forwarded to Department of the Attorney General.

The Department than determine that Clous’ actions did not amount to criminal conduct, as there is not enough evidence to prove malevolent intent.

Nessel released a statement on the matter,

Anytime a person feels the law has been violated, the police should be notified and a report should be filed to ensure a proper investigation. I appreciate the community member who came forward to file this report, and I respect the conclusion reached by my office. I find Commissioner Clous’ action to be reprehensible and irresponsible, but not illegal. While he will not face accountability in a court room, Commissioner Clous’ constituents have the power to make their opinions clear the next time he’s up for re-election.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

This is Clous’ fourth term on the board.

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