Smith named township deputy clerk, remains under investigation for alleged threat

DAVISON TWP. — Newly elected Clerk Mary Miller has named school board member Matthew Smith as the township deputy clerk.

Smith, who recently ran and lost his bid for 9th District Genesee County Commissioner to Gary Peppin (D-Davison), said he was offered the position by Miller and “thought it was a great opportunity.”

The board met in a special Zoom meeting Nov. 30 to discuss Smith’s duties as deputy clerk. A portion of that meeting was conducted in closed session.

Supervisor Jim Slezak said Smith’s duties will be the non-assigned statutory duties of the clerk’s office, which is basically those duties the clerk is not legally required to perform by state statute. The job of deputy clerk is currently a part-time position.

The clerk is allowed by law to appoint whomever he or she wants as deputy clerk. The board has no say in the appointment.

Smith still faces possible charges after he was accused in late October of making a threatening phone call to Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly.

Kelly, a political rival of Smith’s friend Justin Kasieta, claimed Smith was responsible for a 1 a.m. phone call she received in March in which the caller threatened to kill her dogs and dispose of them in a dumpster.

An investigation by the Davison Township Police showed the call was made from Smith’s cellphone, but he denies he made the call, attributing it to someone “pranking” his phone with an app.

The case is currently with the Michigan Attorney General’s office for review.

“There is nothing new to report,” said Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for Michigan Department of Attorney General Dana Nessel. “This case is being assigned to a county to act as special prosecuting attorney through the Prosecuting Attorney’s Coordination Council, but the assignment has not yet been made.”

It was revealed last month Kelly currently faces a lawsuit in Houghton County for allegedly making false claims about employees in her office. There are no new details regarding this case.