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Attorney general investigating alleged threats, county clerk on edge

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 11:02 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Alleged threats left an Upper Peninsula county clerk on edge.

The person she said made those threats now has the attention of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

“I was furious. I was scared they were watching me, but they were going to know I was contacting the authorities,” said Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly.

The situation started in March. After investigation, police believe at least one of those threatening calls came from someone in Mid-Michigan.

“I mean it changed me, to be afraid to drive a car and go outside and cut my grass. It’s been bad,” said Kelly.

She received a two-minute phone call on March 6 from a private number saying they’ve seen the inside of her home.

“The wanted to come in and film my home because it’s as messy as my clerk’s office, and I kept explaining to him that my house and my clerk’s office are not messy,” said Kelly. “The call lasted about two minutes and some seconds, and that’s when he said that he or they were going to come and poison and kill my dogs and throw them in the dumpster.”

Kelly called police and they allegedly traced the number to Matthew Smith, who currently is a Davison school board member and is running for the Genesee County Board of Commissioners.

According to the police report, officers then found Kelly’s county clerk opponent, Justin Kasieta, was also on the phone call. Kasieta admitted that the phone call was made by Smith but says they didn’t threaten to kill her dogs.

“I want them to be held accountable," Kelly said. "They didn’t hurt me physically but mentally, and it’s drained me.”

Smith denied making the phone call to police, saying his friends “spoofed” his number. Smith promptly filed his own police report claiming someone has been prank calling from his phone for 18 months.

Smith’s attorney told ABC12 News that neither he nor his client would do an interview or answer questions. He did say Kelly is making it all up.

“I want none of these three gentlemen to ever contact me again,” said Kelly.

Michigan State Police turned over their investigation to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, which had not filed charges in the case as of Monday evening.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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