Troy police investigating fake medical marijuana petition signatures

Posted at 11:24 AM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 17:35:42-04

The Troy Police Department is investigating fraudulent signatures on a medical marijuana-related petition submitted to the City of Troy Clerk's office on July 31.

Police say the petition, submitted by the political committee 'Citizens for a Responsible Troy', was found to have forged signatures, duplicate signatures and other signature-related problems.

"The City of Troy will not tolerate attempts to interfere with a lawful and fair election process," said City Manager Mark Miller. "I am confident that the Troy Police Department and Oakland County Sheriff's Office will conduct a thorough, professional investigation of this criminal matter."

Officials say the aim of the petition was to place a proposal question on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election that would amend the city charter to allow licensing of medical marijuana facilities. 

“It’s really awful to see your name sign on something and forged on something that you worked so hard against,” said City Councilman Ethan Baker, who voted to “opt out” of licensing marijuana facilities last February. 

Troy City Council previously voted to "opt out" of licensing the facilities.

Employees at the city clerk's office determined the petition contained 2,524 valid signatures, falling short of the required 2,925 signatures. The irregularities were noted during review and were reported to Troy PD.

“Honestly, they are surprised that this has occurred; we are fully willing to corporate with the police or the sheriff's department,” said attorney James Kelly who is representing “Citizens for a Responsible Troy”.

Kelly says they plan to file a lawsuit against the city, saying they did have enough signatures to put the issue to a November vote despite the ones that were forged. 

Investigators found forged signatures, including those of prominent local politicians that previously opposed medical marijuana facility-related initiatives, during the police investigation. Additionally, signatures were found from people who were not registered to vote in Troy or at all, as well as duplicate signatures and signatures with incorrect information.