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Allendale Township planning commission member's actions called into question

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 23:41:17-05

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Allendale Township supervisor Adam Elenbaas says he is reviewing information related to a planning commission member’s alleged involvement in the protest-turned-insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

“I am looking at those videos as they come through and determining, you know what, what of the accusations are credible? What of them are maybe getting caught up in the emotion of what’s going on?” said Elenbaas at Monday’s board meeting.

Last week, pictures and videos emerged online that appear to show Ryan Kelley participating in the January 6 events. At the time Elenbaas confirmed to FOX17 Kelley was in D.C., but said he could not determine whether or not Kelley committed a crime.

FOX17 has not been able to independently confirm if the pictures and videos in question are Kelley.

Kelley has ignored FOX17’s repeated requests for an interview.

In addition to his role in Allendale, Kelley is founder of the “American Patriot Council” which has organized numerous protests in Michigan this year that have mainly targeted coronavirus restrictions and keeping a Civil War statue in place. His relationship with one of the men charged in the plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also been criticized.

The township’s attorney, Bob Sullivan, says under section 15 of the Michigan Planning Enabling Act, Kelley can only be removed for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance committed within his duties as a planning commissioner.

“For instance if he was operating in a way which is in violation of the zoning ordinance which is what his is commissioned to enforce,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan insinuated because of that, removal would be difficult even if Kelley was charged and convicted.

“A mere presumption, I think we look to employers being discharged, with or without cause, I don't think rises to the level of meeting the requirements set forth in statute,” said Sullivan. “The township board is required to follow what's in the statute.”

“It’s beyond disturbing that he is still in a leadership role in our community,” said one Allendale resident.

Just under two dozen people expressed concerns with Kelley during Monday’s meeting and called for his removal.

“What more does this man needs to do to demonstrate that he does not possess the character and good judgment required to serve in government? This is completely unacceptable,” said Josh Dean. “It is time for him to resign his position.”

“Where is the line at which an appointed government official would be relieved of his duties? It seems to me that Lin was crossed long, long ago,” said Cathy Seaver.