LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The mayor of Wyoming is among a number of people now facing several felonies for sending documents to the federal government in an apparent attempt to redirect Michigan’s 2020 electoral votes.
Kent Vanderwood, 69, of Wyoming, faces charges of conspiracy to commit forgery, two counts of forgery, conspiracy to commit uttering and publishing, uttering and publishing, conspiracy to commit election law forgery and two counts of election law forgery, a Tuesday release from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office said.
- Kathy Berden, 70, of Snover
- William (Hank) Choate, 72, of Cement City
- Amy Facchinello, 55, of Grand Blanc
- Clifford Frost, 75, of Warren
- Stanley Grot, 71, of Shelby Township
- John Haggard, 82, of Charlevoix
- Mary-Ann Henry, 65, of Brighton
- Timothy King, 56, of Ypsilanti
- Michele Lundgren, 73, of Detroit
- Meshawn Maddock, 55, of Milford
- James Renner, 76, of Lansing
- Mayra Rodriguez, 64, of Grosse Pointe Farms
- Rose Rook, 81, of Paw Paw
- Marian Sheridan, 69, of West Bloomfield
- Ken Thompson, 68, of Orleans
Berden is a Republican National committeewoman. Grot is the clerk of Shelby Township on the east side of the state. Maddock is a former co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party and is married to current state Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford.
The AG’s office alleged that on Dec. 14, 2020, after it was clear that President Joe Biden had won Michigan in the presidential election, the 16 people worked together to try to establish former President Donald Trump as the winner.
It said the group “met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters … and signed their names to multiple certificates stating they were the ‘duly elected and qualified electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America for the State of Michigan.'” It said those documents were then sent to the U.S. Senate and National Archives to try to get the state’s electoral votes to go to Trump.
It did not work. Michigan’s electoral votes went to Biden.
“The evidence will demonstrate there was no legal authority for the false electors to purport to act as ‘duly elected presidential electors’ and execute the false electoral documents,” Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, stated. “Every serious challenge to the election had been denied, dismissed, or otherwise rejected by the time the false electors convened. There was no legitimate legal avenue or plausible use of such a document or an alternative slate of electors. There was only the desperate effort of these defendants, who we have charged with deliberately attempting to interfere with and overturn our free and fair election process, and along with it, the will of millions of Michigan voters. That the effort failed and democracy prevailed does not erase the crimes of those who enacted the false electors plot.”
In a statement released to News 8 Tuesday, the city of Wyoming said it was aware of the charges against Vanderwood.
“These actions did not take place in his capacity as a city official. With any charges, there is a legal process that needs to be followed,” the statement said.
News 8 also reached out to a constitutional law expert with Western Michigan University Cooley Law School about the recent charges.
“I think these are pretty serious charges,” said professor Michael McDaniel. “I mean, we have these individuals, if what is said in the complaint be true, then they had a conspiracy, they had a plan together to forge these documents, to throw Michigan’s votes, for President of the United States.”
The charges were filed in Ingham County. It’s unclear when Vanderwood and the other defendants will be arraigned. The forgery charge is a 14-year felony.
The AG’s Office did not rule out further charges against more people.