Advance Notice: Briefs

Muskegon Co. prosecutor appointed to investigate DePerno, others in voting machine probe

By: - September 8, 2022 12:51 pm

GOP Attorney General candidate Matt DePerno | Allison R. Donahue

The special prosecutor sought by Attorney General Dana Nessel to handle an investigation into her GOP challenger will be Democrat D.J. Hilson, the prosecuting attorney in Muskegon County.

Hilson was first elected to office in 2012. He will now oversee an investigation into whether nine people, including Republican Attorney General nominee Matthew DePerno, should be criminally charged for their alleged efforts to illegally gain access to and tamper with five voting tabulators following the 2020 election that former President Donald Trump lost to President Joe Biden.

Such a crime is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

State Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf are among the other individuals allegedly involved.

Nessel, a Democrat, citing a conflict of interest due to the upcoming election, said last month she was seeking a special prosecutor to handle the case. The executive director of Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council announced Hilson’s name on Thursday.

DePerno has repeatedly dismissed Nessel’s request for a special prosecutor as politically motivated, and said she “should be impeached” over the investigation. He has repeatedly called for her to be imprisoned

DePerno denied being in a hotel room while one of the vote tabulators were being “tested,” which is contradicted by documents released by Nessel’s office.

DePerno, who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, frequently espouses conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).