(WXYZ) — Royal Oak Commissioner Kim Gibbs, who has been in recent news for participating in the protests against the governor's stay-home order in Lansing, is apologizing for shoplifting at a local store.
The incident happened May 6 at a local Meijer. Gibb's attorney, Charles Semchena, Jr., released a statement on Gibb's behalf, saying that the commissioner made a "serious indiscretion," which was brought on by stress due to the backlash from her attendance at the Lansing protest and the snowball effect it has had on her.
Semchena says Gibbs, who was initially asked by Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier to step down but was ultimately censured by the board, has not been able to work and hasn't received an unemployment check. Her attorney also says that her appearance at the April 15 protest has led to Gibbs' "constant distress, anxiety, depression and the inability to sleep."
Gibbs released an apology which states:
I would like to apologize to my family, friends and especially my constituents for my substantial lapse in judgement on Wednesday, May 6. A combination of many external factors led to me taking items from the Meijer store without paying for all of them. The economic impact of the COVID-19 statewide lockdown has taken a serious toll on me personally.
I obviously was not thinking clearly, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Recently, I had to choose between insulin and food, and I chose the insulin, which helps me stay alive; however, that left extraordinarily little money for food after paying for medical insurance and insulin.
Thanks to the support of family and friends, I am now being treated by medical professionals for these issues and my Type 1 diabetes and I look forward to getting back to normal.
I deeply regret any issue, or concern, this has caused for my supporters. I have realized, as I have been told by friends, that I need, and am seeking help. I know that my opponent in November and the City Commission will turn this incident into more partisan politics, however kicking people when they are down should not be condoned by anyone.
Michiganders, and people around the country, are suffering with the economic and personal pain COVID has brought to every one of us. We need now, more than ever, to stand together as Americans and get back working so others do not face the same health consequences I am facing.
7 Action News reached out to police regarding the incident and is awaiting a response.