Claiming death threats, man withdraws request to remove Sheriff Leaf

Barry County

Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf speaks with News 8 on Oct. 9, 2020.

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Barry County man who asked Michigan’s governor to remove Sheriff Dar Leaf from office has changed his mind.

“I’d like to rescind my request to ask the Governor to remove Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf from office,” the Delton man wrote in an email to the office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

He copied News 8 on the email. 

“I still stand by what I stated and can document it all, but it’s proven to be too dangerous to follow through with it,” the man’s email continued. “I have received death threats not only for myself but for my family. If it were just me, I would handle it, but I cannot in good conscience put my family in danger. Sorry for this, but I find it necessary.”

News 8 is not using the man’s name due to the alleged threats.

A spokesperson for Whitmer’s office confirmed it had received the man’s request to reverse his petition for Leaf’s removal.

“With the individual rescinding the request, we do not currently have any active formal requests,” Bobby Leddy, Whitmer’s press secretary, wrote in an email to News 8.

The man had filed a petition asking Whitmer to strip Leaf of his office. There is a process established by Michigan law that allows for the governor to remove a county officer. The governor had not yet reviewed the petition because the first step was to send it to the state attorney general for an opinion.

Leaf stirred controversy when he challenged the validity of the November 2020 general election results — an attack swiftly shut down by a federal judge. Earlier this month, he posted on Facebook about the forming a posse. While a law professor acknowledged in a conversation with News 8 that Leaf has the power to do so under common law, he described the concept of a posse as “obsolete in this day and age.”

Sheriff Leaf did not return calls for comment.

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