LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins was charged with six felonies Monday stemming from the November 2018 general election.
Hawkins, 38, of Southfield, was elected Southfield city clerk in November 2017. Prior to election she was the city clerk of Pontiac, a non-elected position, where she was responsible for that city’s elections.
She turned herself in and was arraigned in the 46th District Court.
The charges include:
• Count One: Election Law – Falsifying Returns/Records, a five-year felony and/or $1,000;
• Count Two: Forgery of a Public Record, a 14-year felony;
• Count Three: Misconduct in Office, a five-year felony and/or $10,000;
• Count Four: Using a Computer to Commit a Crime – Election Law – Falsifying Returns/Records, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000;
• Count Five: Using a Computer to Commit a Crime – Forgery of a Public Record, a 10-year felony and/or $10,000;
• Count Six: Using a Computer to Commit a Crime – Misconduct in Office, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel was joined by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announcing the chrges.
“When we took office, both Secretary Benson and I committed to doing everything in our power to make sure that Michigan’s elections were safe from every conceivable threat,” said Nessel. “That commitment – made to the people of this state – includes taking swift and decisive action when a public official fails to fulfill the important role that he or she plays in protecting the integrity of our elections.”
Discrepancies in the Southfield voter count were brought to the Secretary of State’s attention by the Oakland County Clerk’s office following its efforts to certify Southfield’s absentee ballots. Michigan State Police conducted a thorough investigation and determined that election records had been altered.
“Today upon learning that the Southfield City Clerk was formally charged with multiple crimes under Michigan election law, I exercised my authority under Michigan law to exert supervisory control over local election officials and directed the clerk to refrain from administering any election while there are charges pending against her,” Benson said. “Our elections are the foundation of our democracy, and under my and Attorney General Nessel’s administration there will be no tolerance for any actions that undermine that foundation – anywhere, anytime, by any person or official.”
Hawkins was given a $15,000 personal bond and a probable cause conference was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30. A preliminary examination hearing is set for Tuesday, Oct. 15.
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