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Commission approves Conely recall petition, signature gathering underway

As ordered by a local judge, the Livingston County Election Commission approved petition language for Brighton Area Schools Trustee John Conely.

The commission on Friday complied with an earlier order from Judge Matthew J. McGivney who remanded the petition seeking Conely’s removal from office back to the Commission and ordered it to certify the language for circulation.

BAS Trustee John Conely

With the official approval, petition organizer Sarah Cross says efforts are now underway to collect signatures that will remove both Conely and fellow Trustee Bill Trombley, whose recall language was already certified.

The petition seeking Conely’s ouster is based on his language in an email to a former district employee who asked that he vote in favor of a mask mandate for students in the district to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In that email, Conely stated “You mean like Hitler did? Mandates, we don’t have laws to support them. We are not Socialists.”

That response prompted a rebuke from Carolyn Nornandin, the Regional Director the Anti-Defamation League of Michigan (ADL Michigan), said she was “deeply disturbed” by the statement which she said was “shameful” for “connecting current health policies during a pandemic, with an administration seeking to commit mass genocide of targeted groups”.

Trombley’s petition alleges he failed to read the board packet prior to the September 27th meeting.

Details on the recall effort can be found at;


Cross says she and other supporters have 60 days from Friday to collect the 5,500 signatures needed and then submit them to the Election Commission. She says that at that point Conely and Trombley would have to run for their offices again in the November election.

Cross previously told GIGO News that from her perspective, Conely has continued in his pattern of behavior she and others find unacceptable.

“Conely just left the last school board meeting early to attend the Republican Party Convention, leaving before his own agenda item was discussed because he continues to put partisan politics before his role as a non partisan school board member,” said Cross. “Given the recent humiliation of our District with Theis’s nationally broadcast bigotry, it’s more important than even to reign in these toxic politics and send a message to all children that they are supported.”

Both Conely and Trombley have declined to respond to repeated requests for comment on the recall effort.

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