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Kent County Board of Commissioners and a State Representative denounce threats and violence aimed at health director

Kent County
County of Kent, Michigan
Kent County seal

Condemnations delivered after letter describing aggressions made public.

When a letter sent to the Kent County Board of Commissioners from the Kent County Administrative Health Officer detailing threats and attempts of violence were made public, the board chair and a state representative issued statements denouncing the aggression.

The Kent County Health Administrator has received pushback since the August issuing of a public order requiring PreK-6th grade students wear masks in indoor classroom settings. The response, a segment of parents publicly demanded it’s their decision to make. Four Republican Kent County State Representatives threatened to cut health department funding if a mask mandate were implemented. That letter from state Representatives Mark Huizenga, Thomas Albert, Steven Johnson and Bryan Posthumus reminded Dr. London he is an unelected official and that Kent County residents should decide, “We in the Legislature are willing to use the constitutional tools at our disposal – including the power of the purse – should a public health officer act outside the sphere of proper authority.”

The Kent County Board of Commissioners also questioned Dr. London’s authority. It recently sought outside legal counsel only to learn that under Michigan law, when it comes to public health, the decision is final.

Dr. London has been feeling the heat, and this week, in a three-page letter sent to county commissioners, details of threats made by dissatisfied residents were made public. Individuals accusing him of being a “deep state agent,” a traitor and a “child abusing monster” among other things using expletives. Also documented attempts of violence.

Shortly after the letter was made public Tuesday, Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter issued this statement, “Threats of violence against any resident or County employee is, without question, unacceptable and should be immediately reported to the proper authorities.”

State Representative, Mark Huizenga of Walker also issued a statement denouncing the violence and threats.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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