Canvassers approve recall petition against Branch prosecutor


LANSING – The possible recall of Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble has taken another step forward.

During their meeting Tuesday morning, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers voted 3-0 to approve a recall petition against Kimble. The petition was submitted by Alexia and Stephen Rish of Coldwater.

It was the second time the Board of Canvassers voted on a recall petition regarding Kimble. The first one, also submitted by the Rish's, was voted down during the Board's January 30 meeting after it was determined it did not factually and clearly state the reasons for Kimble's recall.

Under Michigan law, a County Prosecutor can only be removed from office by a recall election or by the Governor.

The next step to bring the recall of Kimble to a vote of the people is for 2,858 valid signatures of registered voters in Branch County to be collected in the next 60 days. That number is equal to 25 percent of the ballots cast during the 2014 gubernatorial election in Branch County.

Kimble has been named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by former county employee Evon Staley. He claims Staley's lawsuit is retaliation because she was fired after being arrested in a marijuana bust on her property.

Kimble has also been investigated by the Michigan State Police and the State Attorney General's Office on suspicion of sexual harassment and other possible violations.

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