A Michigan Democrat has been sentenced to house arrest for tampering with ballots in the 2020 election — with the judge saying she could have received jail time if they had the “space to spare” in the prison system.
On Monday, former Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk was sentenced to six months of house arrest after submitting a plea of no contest in January to misconduct in office — which is considered the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.
A local official in Michigan has been sentenced to six months of house arrest after she pleaded no contest to tampering with a ballot box in her own election. Investigators say Kathy Funk broke the seal on a ballot container to ensure that votes could not be recounted. pic.twitter.com/tUDLUPl8kk
— Michigan News Source (@MINewsSource) April 25, 2023
“Funk had won the Democratic nomination by just 79 votes out of about 5,300. A recount was not conducted, and she subsequently won the general election that fall. Investigators say she sabotaged the ballot box after the primary election, an act that would make those ballots ineligible for a recount,” the Associated Press reported.
The outlet further noted that the 29-year-old Democrat official had initially claimed in a statement to Michigan police that she believed someone had broken into the township hall and had damaged the ballot canister’s seal.
During Funk’s sentencing, Judge Mark Latchana opined about the capacity in the area’s jails — stating that many would want Funk to go to jail, but he was not going to lock her up because “we have to use our available resources wisely.”
“I’m sure there’s a segment of the population that thinks you should be locked up for calling into question the integrity of an election,” the judge said. “And if we had unlimited jail space, perhaps that’s true. But we don’t. So, we have to use our available resources wisely.”
Latchana also pointed out that Funk had never been in trouble with the law in the past, and her crimes were not violent.
“And someone who is 59-years-old, who’s never been in trouble before, and didn’t commit any violent acts, doesn’t need to be going to jail in this community,” he continued. “If you lived up north, that might be a different story where they have jail space to spare, but we don’t.”
Funk was also sentenced to two years of probation and a $1,000 fine, alongside her house arrest. Latchana also ordered her to submit a public letter of apology for her actions within 30 days of sentencing.