Michigan Democrat Kathy Funk, who served as the Flint Township Clerk, was sentenced to six months of house arrest on Monday for tampering with ballots in the 2020 election.
In January, Funk pleaded no contest to misconduct in office, which is treated the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.
As the Associated Press (AP) detailed:
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 59-year-old Democrat official initially told Michigan police she thought someone broke into the township hall and damaged the seal on the ballot canister, per AP.
Judge Mark Latchana said at sentencing:
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. And if we had unlimited jail space, perhaps that’s true. But we don’t. So, we have to use our available resources wisely. 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. If you lived up north, that might be a different story where they have jail space to spare, but we don’t.
In addition to house arrest, Latchana sentenced Funk to two years of probation and a $1,000 fine. Funk was also ordered to submit a public letter of apology within 30 days of sentencing.