Aug. 24 2016 12:03 AM

Investigation continues into campaign violations


A candidate for Lansing Community College trustee has been dismissed from her post at the Ingham County Register of Deeds.

Angela Mathews, the community outreach coordinator, was terminated Aug. 16, said Travis Parsons, the county’s human resources director.

Derrick Quinney, the Register of Deeds, confirmed the dismissal, but referred all other questions to Parsons.

Neither would comment on why Mathews, an atwill employee, was let go.

The Mason Police Department is investigating accusations by Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum that she committed perjury last month when she signed an affidavit of identity to get her name on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The affidavit requires a candidate to acknowledge that all campaign finance reports and fines or fees owed by a candidate have been paid. Byrum alleges that Mathews had not filed any campaign paperwork and campaign finance reports as required for her 2014 bid for the same office. As a result of the unfiled paperwork and reports, Mathews owes $1,300 in campaign fines, according to Byrum.

Mathews has not responded to requests for comment. Her attorney, Joseph Garcia, of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, has written Byrum that Mathews was unaware of the campaign filing requirements or the fines. Garcia said the candidate had moved in 2014 from her registered address in Lansing Township to Lansing shortly after getting on the ballot in 2014. She withdrew from the race shortly afterward.

However, Lansing Township records show Mathews voted in her polling location in Lansing Township in both August and November 2014. Election law allows a person who moved during the preceding 60 days to vote in the old precinct. Voting after that at the old precinct could be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

Garcia said there was no way his client would have known about the reports and other requirements because she was not receiving the first-class letters sent by the clerk. However, Jennifer Shuster, the election coordinator in Bryum’s office at the time, said she and Mathews spoke by phone in 2014 about the reporting requirements.

If Mathews is charged and convicted of perjury, she could face up to five years in prison and fines.

Lisa McCormack, chief assistant prosecutor for the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, said investigators had sent a report to the office. However, prosecutors wanted more information and have sent it back to detectives in Mason. She was uncertain when the additional information would be made available or when a decision to prosecute would be made.