Government, Human Resources, and Law

Kent County commissioner resigns after arrest

December 12, 2013
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Kent County commissioner resigns after arrest
Gary Rolls. Photo via accesskent.com

The Kent County Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted the resignation of a county commissioner on Thursday morning.

County Commissioner Gary Rolls’ resignation is effective on Jan. 1.

Rolls was arraigned in Kent County Circuit Court late last month on four counts of first degree felony criminal sexual conduct and two counts of evidence tampering and using a computer to commit a crime.

Rolls has been accused of molesting a Muskegon woman, beginning when she was nine years old until she turned 23.

The 47-year-old commissioner has served on the county board since 2003.

“I thank the citizens of Kent County and my constituents of the current and former 4th District for allowing me to serve you,” said Rolls in a statement. “I will use this time to prepare for trial to prove my absolute and complete innocence.”

Rolls was re-elected to the board in 2012 and represents the county’s 4th District, which includes the city of Lowell and Cannon, Grattan, Oakfield and Vergennes townships.

“We appreciate that he recognizes it is better for the Board of Commissioners to select a new member who can represent District 4 without distraction,” said Dan Koorndyk, board chair.

Board vacancy

State law allows the commission to name a replacement to fill Rolls’ term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2014.

The board has 30 days after the effective resignation date to name an individual.

Koorndyk said people interested in filling the term should send a letter and a resume to the Board of Commissioners, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich., 49503, by Jan. 6.

The county’s Executive Committee will review all applications and then make a recommendation to the full board on how to proceed.

Commissioners will make their decision before the end of January.

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