AG Nessel Prevails in Southfield Clerk's Attempt to Dismiss Felony Charges

Contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
Agency: Attorney General

June 3, 2021

LANSING - An Oakland County judge has denied the Southfield City Clerk's motion to drop two felony charges against her connected to the Nov. 2018 election. 

Last year, Sherikia Hawkins was ordered to stand trial on the following six charges: 

  • one count of violating election law by falsifying returns or records, a five-year felony and/or $1,000 fine;  
  • one count of forgery of a public record, a 14-year felony;  
  • one count of misconduct in office, a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine;  
  • one count of using a computer to commit a crime connected to violating election law by falsifying returns or records, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000 fine;  
  • one count of using a computer to commit a crime connected to forgery of a public record, a 10-year felony and/or $10,000 fine; and 
  • one count of using a computer to commit a crime connected to misconduct in office, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000 fine. 

The complaint alleges that Hawkins fraudulently altered or modified the Qualified Voter File after the 2018 general election to falsely reflect that previously logged absentee ballots were void due to arriving in envelopes that were not signed by the voter. 

After being sent to trial, Hawkins filed a motion to quash before Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Leo Bowman, which was granted on four of the charges but denied on the following two charges: 

  • misconduct in office, a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine; and 
  • using a computer to commit a crime connected to misconduct in office, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000 fine.  

In response, the Department appealed the dismissal of the four counts to the Michigan Court of Appeals. That appeal is currently pending. 

Additionally, Hawkins - who is running for re-election - filed another motion seeking to dismiss the two remaining charges upheld by Judge Bowman.  

Wednesday morning, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Edward Sosnick heard oral arguments related to Hawkins' latest motion and ultimately sided with the Department. 

Judge Sosnick's denial means Hawkins continues to face the following charges: 

  • one count of misconduct in office, a five-year felony and/or $10,000 fine; and 
  • one count of using a computer to commit a crime connected to misconduct in office, a seven-year felony and/or $5,000 fine. 

 "I remain committed to ensuring voters of our state can have confidence in our election process," Nessel said. "Election officials, regardless of political party, must uphold the integrity of their position. Those who abuse that commitment undermine the very foundation of our democracy." 

Currently, a jury trial is set to begin in the Oakland County Circuit Court on Oct. 28, 2021. 

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General's Office does not provide photos of defendants.