Effort launched to remove Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf from office

Barry County

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Barry County man has asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to remove Sheriff Dar Leaf from office.

A Delton man, who asked to not be named, filed a petition Wednesday requesting the controversial sheriff be stripped of his position.

“(Leaf) has and continues to abuse his power as sheriff and not effectively represent the citizens of Barry County,” the Delton resident wrote in an email to the governor’s office. 

He went on to list 13 instances of alleged misconduct by Leaf, including “misuse of county funds to investigate non existent election fraud” and “plotting to seize 2020 election materials and equipment.” 

The Delton man also accused Leaf of using county funds to travel to South Dakota to speak at the “Freedom Fest.” Additionally, he alleged Leaf used a county vehicle to travel to speak at “Patriot” rallies and used county email to sell “constitutional sheriff materials.”

“Dar has become so extreme that even the other state constitutional sheriffs are distancing themselves from him,” wrote the Delton man, who says he has documents to back up his claims. 

Whitmer’s office confirmed to News 8 that it has received a petition requesting Leaf’s removal.

Bobby Leddy, Whitmer’s press secretary, explained the process established under Michigan law by which a governor can consider the removal of a county officer. 

“Once an individual submits a formal petition to the state for removal, it is sent to the attorney general for review and recommendation,” Leddy wrote in an email exchange with News 8.

“Only after the attorney general makes a recommendation would the governor review the request,” Leddy concluded.

Last year, Leaf challenged the validity of the November 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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