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Genesee County official sentenced in Livingston County

A former Genesee County official was sentenced Monday in Livingston County to probation for performing a marriage without a license, although numerous one-time employees of John Gleason testified about his abuse of power.

Gleason, the former Genesee County Clerk-Register, was sentenced by 53rd District Court Judge Daniel Bain to a year of probation and $100 fine for conducting the 2019 wedding ceremony without a marriage license.

Bain was assigned to hear Gleason’s case after Genesee County judges recused themselves as did Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who was replaced by Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene.

MLive.com reports that several former employees of Gleason spoke before the sentence was handed down, saying he had created a toxic workplace environment and had attempted to bully them into covering up the fact that he backdated a marriage license for the ceremony held in Shiawassee County on Christmas Eve.

Former Elections Supervisor Doreen Fulcher called Gleason “nothing more than a schoolyard bully who used his position to attack and intimidate his own staff relentlessly.”

Gleason, who was originally charged criminally with bribing or intimidating a witness and willful neglect of duty, reached a plea deal with prosecutors to have those charges dropped in exchange for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the state Marriage License Act.

He also agreed to resign from his position and never run for public office again in Genesee County.

Gleason, a former state representative and state senator, said he had backdated the license so that the couple could be married before their child was born. His attorney also disputed the allegations of workplace impropriety.

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