SOUTHFIELD – Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins has resigned from her position following a plea agreement in an election misconduct case, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced this week.
During the 2018 General Election, election inspectors made a mistake and put 193 absentee ballots in the ballot container without first running them through the tabulator. The ballot container was then sealed. Because of this error, the number of votes shown on the tabulator counter was 193 less than the number of absentee ballots received by the clerk’s office.
Then-City Clerk Hawkins allegedly tried to cover up the mistake by removing 193 names from the list of voters who had returned absentee ballots.
County election officials discovered Hawkins’ fraudulent effort to cover up the mistake when they opened the ballot container and counted the votes therein.
Hawkins entered a plea of “no contest” to misconduct in office, a five-year felony, before Judge Kwame Rowe in the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court, related to her actions.
As part of the plea agreement, the five remaining felony counts against Hawkins are dismissed, the AG’s Office said. The judge also accepted a sentence agreement of no probation or incarceration. The sentence will provide for a fine and other costs accessed by the court.
“I am committed to ensuring the voters of our state can have confidence in our election process,” Nessel said. “Election officials, regardless of political party, must uphold the integrity of their position and ensure every vote is accurately counted. Those who abuse that commitment undermine the very foundation of our democracy.”
In January, the Michigan Court of Appeals sided with the Department of Attorney General and unanimously upheld four of the charges filed in the case against Hawkins, reinstating the original six felony charges against the Southfield Clerk.
A sentencing hearing for Hawkins is set for December 8 at 9 a.m.