© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kalkaska President To Challenge Recall Petition Against Him

flickr creative commons

An official in northern Michigan plans to challenge the approval of a recall petition levied against him after he refused to apologize for sharing anti-Muslim Facebook posts.

Members of the Kalkaska County Election Commission on Friday unanimously approved the proposed recall language targeting Kalkaska Village President Jeff Sieting, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported . Kalkaska resident Elizabeth Dunham filed the petition, which alleges that Sieting voted to approve a budget that had a $500,000 deficit and raises concerns about his social media activities.

Sieting said the budget doesn't contain a deficit and the village fund balance would cover the shortfall.

"I don't think they grasp that," Sieting said. "I think it went right over their head. To allow that to continue in the recall, I think, is wrong."

Sieting shared Facebook posts that called for the killing of "every last Muslim" and for nuclear weapons to be used on the world's 10-largest Muslim-majority cities. He also left a Facebook comment that said the village didn't have a "sliver of hope."

The posts led to protests in the village and caught national attention.

Sieting said he didn't intend to create a public outcry with the posts. The Facebook posts were from his personal Facebook account and used, he argues, with the intent to cause damage to him. Sieting also questioned why he needed to issue an apology.

"Who the apology was to be directed to, I have no idea," he said.

Sieting has 10 days to defend himself against the allegations in the petition. Dunham will have to collect signature from village residents in order to begin a recall election if the petition is approved.

"That's the least of my concerns," Dunham said. "The list grows longer and longer of people wanting to sign it."

Related Content
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!