ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Allendale Township Commission was grilled by community members Monday night after video surfaced of Planning Commissioner Ryan Kelley taking part in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
During the virtual meeting, several residents made it clear that they’re not happy with the township board member’s association with the events that took place at the Capitol.
“We need to take action,” a caller said during the virtual meeting. “Ryan Kelley, you need to resign.”
In October 2020, a township board meeting was packed with residents calling for Kelley’s removal after it came to light that he invited militia members to a summer protest in Allendale, where demonstrators called for a confederate statue to be removed. A group also said Kelley went to Facebook calling Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization.”
Kelley told News 8 in October that he had not been in contact with the militia members. But an Allendale resident submitted a Freedom of Information Act, which showed a conversation between Kelley and Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas. In that conversation Kelley told Elenbaas of his plans to attend the protest with militia members.
Monday night, community members also called for Elenbaas to take action in Kelley’s part in the insurrection or leave his position.
“Mr. Elenbaas, if you do not have the moral compass to do what’s right, please resign tonight,” another caller said.
Elenbaas finally talked about the matter involving Kelley more than two hours after the meeting started.
“I am looking at those videos and determining what accusations are credible,” Elenbaas said. “I will say I don’t agree with all of his actions.”
Bob Sullivan, the township’s attorney added that if Kelley were to be charged for his actions in the nation’s Capital, he wouldn’t necessarily be let go by the commission.
“We have the ability to investigate what happens in the township. If those outside jurisdictions complete an investigation and determine there’s probable cause to prosecute and proceed to prosecution … If there’s a conviction, I think the township can take that determination by that infinite body and make determination if it fits into one of the areas by the statue,” Sullivan said.
**Correction: It was previously reported that Kelley was a commissioner. He is a planning commissioner. It was also reported that a planning commission meeting was held Monday.**