Official loses seat over decade-old convictions

A city commissioner in Kent County is losing his seat because of a city charter amendment that says anyone with a felony conviction can't hold elected office.
AP Wire
Jan 4, 2012

Ray VerWys was elected to a four-year term in Kentwood in 2009. Voters in the Grand Rapids-area community approved the charter amendment in November.

City commissioners voted Tuesday night to unseat VerWys.

VerWys has embezzlement convictions from 2000 and 2001.

After the decision, VerWys shook hands with every commissioner before leaving city hall. He said it’s “unfortunate the city decided to negate the votes of 2009.” He argued that, since he was elected before the charter amendment passed, he should be allowed to serve the remainder of his term.

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