Flint-area Republican leader gets probation for harassment

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FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The leader of the Flint-area Republican Party has been placed on probation and ordered to write an essay about the effects of bullying.

Matthew Smith admits making a harassing phone call to a Democratic official in the Upper Peninsula who was being challenged by his buddy in the 2020 election. But Smith denied that he threatened to poison Jennifer Kelly’s dogs. Kelly is the elected clerk in Houghton County.

Besides leading Genesee County Republicans, Smith is a school board member in Davison. The controversy has led to a recall effort against him.

Smith must perform 240 hours of community service and pay $650. His record eventually will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble.

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