Recall language approved against Smith

DAVISON — Recall petition language against Davison Board of Education member Matthew Smith was approved Monday by the Genesee County Election Commission.

Resident Jenessa Phillips of Davison brought the language three times before it approved by the board. The third draft of the language, written by attorney Alec Gibbs, stated: “The State of Michigan has charged Matthew Michael Smith with malicious use of telecommunications services” as the basis for the recall.

Gibbs is listed as chairman of the Genesee County Democratic Party Voter Protection Committee at

Smith has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly making a threatening phone call in March of 2020 to Jennifer Kelly, clerk for Houghton County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. At the time Kelly was being challenged for her seat by a Republican candidate who was friends with Smith.

Smith is due in court later this month on the threatening phone call charge.

He has 10 days to appeal the recall language decision. If his appeal is unsuccessful, or if he doesn’t file one, Phillips and her supporters can start gathering signatures to put the recall on the ballot.

Smith has indicated he will likely appeal. — By Gary Gould