On January 16, a complaint was received by the Kent County Sheriff Department alleging that a violation of the Open Meetings Act had occurred at Grattan Township. Kent County investigators have been actively working the case. On February 17, a search warrant was executed at the Grattan Township Hall where computers were seized by detectives. Interviews have been conducted as it relates to an October 27, 2008, meeting held by the township board, and whether board members violated the law. Kent County officials have been working with the Kent County Prosecutor’s office, and when complete, the investigation will be turned over to the Kent County Prosecutor for review. According to Lt. Kevin Kelly of the Kent County Sheriff Department, there have been no arrests or warrants yet in the case. The complaint was that there was no public posting 18 hours prior to the meeting, as required. The Grattan Township clerk and supervisor did not return calls asking for more information.
Dear Editor, As a mother of two young women and the owner of Kimberly’s Boutique in downtown Rockford, I want to defend any store owner who reports a shop lifting experience (with a reputable witness) to the proper authorities. I will also defend strongly our police department, who execute their training to assist the victim of a crime. It might surprise many to know that thousands of dollars in merchandise is stolen from downtown Rockford stores by your sons, daughters, moms, dads, aunts and uncles. It does not matter the size, weight, color, or value of an item. It is an item stolen. It is against the law! What would you have the police officers do but investigate to protect the victim. This is not a “witch hunt,” but normal police procedures. None of us should presume to advise the police professionals how to execute their job. Shame on you for the mention of race. Shame on you for mentioning the unknown value of the item as if that should make a difference. If my children were continually let down and disappointed with coaches, teachers, shop owners and other authority figures, as you stated they were, I would look within myself to see if the guidance I was giving was appropriate. That much disappointment for any one child is not normal. Look to that child and teach them that life isn’t always fair. Sometimes they are at fault. Teach them common sense (if there is any left in our world). Teach them truth, trust, discretion, responsibility and reason. We all need to erase the “I know my rights,” “I want it now,” “Someone else is to blame,” and “I’m a victim” mentality. While you are raising your children, give the rest of us a break – we, too, are trying to do our best. Kimberly Smith, her family and staff