JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Three elected officials from a Jackson County community are now one step closer to getting recalled over medical marijuana money.
Tuesday afternoon, thousands of signatures were turned in to the Jackson County Clerk’s Office, all from people who want to reform Leoni Township.
“I am happy the community got so engaged. They’ve been paying attention, they’ve been coming to meetings,” said Trustee Corey Kennedy of the Leoni Township Board of Trustees.
The petitions aim to recall the township supervisor, clerk, and treasurer for their support of an ordinance that uses medical marijuana business application fees as payment for processing the forms.
Some officials made thousands of dollars from the deal.
Kennedy is a spokesman for the group launching the recall, Reform Leoni.
He says the officials never should have profited from the marijuana money.
“Elected officials have no place in taking payouts in addition to their salaries. It’s not an elected official’s place to ever take a payout. They shouldn’t have done it. And they should return the money,” Kennedy said.
More than 1,200 signatures for each official were turned into the clerk’s office.
Reform Leoni says that’s well over the amount needed to launch a recall election.
Over the next 35 days, clerks will verify the signatures are from registered Leoni Township voters.
Only 984 signatures are needed to launch a recall for each official.
When this controversy first broke, officials told 6 News the payment was needed for the extra work they were doing processing applications.
The day petitions were turned in, Leoni Township Clerk Michele Manke could not be reached.
But both Supervisor Howard Linnabary and Treasurer Lori Stack said they don’t want to comment until they know a recall is going to happen.
Kennedy and the group are confident the recall will move forward and appear on the November ballot.
They even have candidates identified to run against the officials.
“It’s about doing what’s right for the voters and all residents of Leoni Township. They deserve transparency and they deserve honest people to be in charge of their local government,” Kennedy said.