SPARTA, Mich. — A Sparta Village councilman accused of soliciting a teenager for sex has submitted his resignation – less than eight months after he was sworn into office.
Sparta Village president Kristi Dougan tells FOX 17 that Ryan James Hayes submitted his resignation effective Wednesday, October 31. His term in office was set to expire in a few weeks: November 20th.
Says Dougan, “He indicated the best possible outcome would be for another candidate for Village Council to achieve election on Tuesday (Nov. 6), to replace his intended vacancy following Tuesday’s election.
“As there are two separate terms of office under consideration, the resignation needs to be considered in two parts. First, the immediate resignation of the current term ending 11/19/18. This term will simply remain vacant due to the short time to the conclusion of the term. Second, it is my understanding that in the event a write-in candidate is not successful in achieving more votes than Ryan – whose name is printed on the ballot – Ryan does not intend to take the oath of office thus creating a vacancy in the second term commencing 11/20/18.”
Dougan says the Sparta Village Council will consider applicants for appointment to the post, at that time. But if a potential write-in candidate were to finish among the three highest vote-getters, that person would take the Oath of Office and serve as a village councilmember, according to Dougan.
Hayes was charged with accosting a child for immoral purposes and using computers – a felony – and one misdemeanor count of violating the Children’s Protection Registry Act with a computer.
Investigators said in early October that Hayes had initiated a texting conversation in September with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl named “Liv”. But he actually was speaking with a Kent County Sheriff’s investigator posing as a child online. Investigators say – in court documents – that Hayes admitted to chatting about “sexual topics”, and allegedly was planning to meet up with the teenage girl at Huff Park. He supposedly drove to the agreed-upon meeting location, where he was arrested.