Hall to have his day in court

A Grand Haven man charged with election law forgery is still waiting for his day in court.
Becky Vargo
Jul 12, 2013


A preliminary examination hearing for the felony charges against Brandon Hall scheduled for Thursday was canceled.

Hall's attorney, Don Hann of Holland, said there are no "factual disputes" in the case, so the preliminary exam was unnecessary.

Instead, Hann and the state Attorney General’s Office will prepare briefs on the case, which will be turned over to Holland District Judge Bradley Knoll. Hann said that will likely happen in about 10 days or so, and oral arguments will be heard about four days later.

Hann said he has asked for the felony charges to be downgraded to misdemeanor charges.

The investigation by the Attorney General’s Office centered on fraudulent signatures on a ballot petition for a Grand Haven attorney, Chris Houghtaling, who was running last year for a vacant Ottawa County 58th District Court post.  Houghtaling was removed from the ballot after the petition signatures were flagged by the Attorney General’s Office.

Judicial candidates had to submit a required number of signatures from registered voters in the county by May 1, 2012, to be on the primary ballot that August. Some of the signatures on Houghtaling's petition were deemed invalid, and he fell below the required number of 1,000 to get his name on the ballot, election officials said.

The circulator at the center of the ballot controversy was Hall, a former member of the Grand Haven school board.

Hall resigned from the school board in 2010 after being convicted of stealing several hundred dollars from a school-sanctioned fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

Hall signed his name as the circulator for nearly half of Houghtaling’s 90 petition pages, according to a story from the MIRS News service.

“It appeared that one or more individuals signed multiple times under different names,” Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Secretary of State office, said in the article.

Hall, 23, said he has been living in Los Angeles and working on a political campaign, and had returned to Grand Haven for his court case. He hopes to return to California when the case is resolved.



Give him every count of the felony charges. Maybe, just maybe, he will get the hint that he should stay out of politics because his moral fiber is even too low for that realm. A longshot would even be that he decides he is not above the law and starts living by the same rules as everyone else. Every time Mr. Hall is in the paper it is because he thought he was smarter than everyone around him. A good felony on his record may bring his ego into check and bring his self image back to reality.


I absolutely agree. There's no way Brandon's walking away from this without being a convicted felon. He lies, cheats, and steals everything in his life just to get by. Brandon needs to be incarcerated for this also, I'd be very upset to see him walk with no jail time. (Highly unlikely anyways) and not to mention, it's 10 felony charges stacked on him. There's no way on God's green earth he walks away not being a CONVICTED FELON! And he deserves it. This way he will be limited to jobs he may apply for in the future and God forbid somebody else getting ripped off by Brandon.
I hope you see this too Brandon, you are a disgrace to our community! You belong in jail and you WILL end up there, sooner or later.
After that, I hope you do go back to LA and leave our town!


"He lies, cheats, and steals..." Will fit right in with D.C.


OH, and he says "he's hoping to return to LA after the case" ??? Umm is it just me or is that an obvious reason for him to be considered a flight risk?? Wake up people. When he realizes how long he's going to go to jail / prison I bet he'll hop a jet right out of here!


Why were Brandon Hall and Chris Houghtaling working together in the first place? What did Chris Houghtaling know and when did he know it? Mr. Hall is a sad case, but Chris is the big fish here. Is he under investigation? Why or why not? A lot of questions remain...


Why do you think Chris is the big fish here? Brandon seems to be a very capable con artist and it is very unlikely Chris was even aware of it until the investigation began. Don't throw stones at Chris and drag him through the mud based on assumptions. Those who know Chris also know him to be an impeccable man of integrity and fair-minded. Put the blame where it belongs.....right back at mr slick (sick) Brandon.


Chris asked for Brandon to be banned from school property. I think he's well aware of Hall. The things he's said about Brandon in the paper before this campaign are cause for serious concern when placed in context with these nominating petitions. It's time for the Trib to ask the tough questions!


And he's the one running for judge, is the president of the GHAPS School Board and is the prosecutor for the City of Grand Haven. He's definitely the big fish. Wake up, polarize! He has questions to answer! Maybe he didn't know anything, but it's time to explain this situation to your constituents Mr Houghtaling. That much is clear.


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