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Brighton woman among 16 charged by Nessel in false elector scheme

A Brighton woman is among 16 Michigan residents that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced felony charges against for their role in the alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 U.S. presidential election. 

Mari-Ann Henry, 65, of Brighton was charged along with: 

• 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  

• 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 

• Kent Vanderwood, 69, of Wyoming 

Henry is the treasurer for the 7th Congressional District Republican Committee, who also served as an alternate delegate from Livingston County to the Michigan Republican Party state convention in February.

“The false electors’ actions undermined the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections and, we believe, also plainly violated the laws by which we administer our elections in Michigan,” said Nessel.  “My department has prosecuted numerous cases of election law violations throughout my tenure, and it would be malfeasance of the greatest magnitude if my department failed to act here in the face of overwhelming evidence of an organized effort to circumvent the lawfully cast ballots of millions of Michigan voters in a presidential election.” 

According to a press release, the defendants are alleged to have met covertly in the basement of the Michigan Republican Party headquarters on December 14th, 2020 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.”

“That was a lie,” said Nessel. “They weren’t the duly elected and qualified electors, and each of the defendants knew it.”

The false documents were then alleged to have been transmitted to the United States Senate and National Archives in a coordinated effort to award the state’s electoral votes to the candidate of their choosing, in place of the candidates actually elected by the people of Michigan.   

“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,” Nessel continued.  “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.” 

Nessel said it remains an ongoing investigation, and she has not ruled out potential charges against additional defendants.  Each of the 16 charged defendants will next appear in 54-A District Court in Ingham County for individual arraignments.  No dates have yet been set by the court for subsequent proceedings.  

Each defendant was charged with: 

• One count of Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, a 14-year felony,  

• Two counts of Forgery, a 14-year felony, 

• One count of Conspiracy to Commit Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony, 

• One count of Uttering and Publishing, a 14-year felony,  

• One count of Conspiracy to Commit Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony, and, 

• Two counts of Election Law Forgery, a 5-year felony. 

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