Recall campaign begins for Jackson County sheriff

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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) -- The petition to remove Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand is moving forward.

The state approved recall language in November, and Rand has not filed an appeal.

That means the signature gathering process can start.

Dean Schuette, who filed the petition, says he'll start gathering signatures on Monday.

From that point, he has 60 days to get 15,213 signatures to put the recall on the ballot.

"I feel that Sheriff Rand thought this was going to go away, but it's not," Schuette said. "It's going to continue until we're done with it, and we're going to complete it one way or another."

It took four tries, but Schuette's petition language to remove Rand was approved by the state board of canvassers on Nov. 26.

Because Rand did not appeal, Schuette is ready to start gathering signatures and he's looking for help.

"We've got several people helping. Hopefully, we'll get a few more, and we're looking forward to a really good operation," Schuette said.

Rand was heard making derogatory comments about minorities, women and people with disabilities on an audio recording released as part of a lawsuit against him.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners and local leaders have called on Rand to resign but, so far, he's refused.

"There's only two things that can happen," Schuette said. "Either Sheriff Rand can resign or we go to the election. So, it's up to him, and I would hope that he'd do himself and the county of Jackson, the citizens and people he works for a favor and resign from his post and let the county move on."

Schuette says he will start gathering signatures at 11 a.m. Monday outside the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

News 10 reached out to Rand for comment on the recall petition but he has not responded.

The only ways to remove a sheriff from office are by recall or by governor's order.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners asked Gov. Rick Snyder to remove Rand in February.