Petition group sues Troy after marijuana proposal removed from ballot due to forged signatures

Officials say several high-profile names forged on petitions

TROY, Mich. – Officials said the signatures of several high-profile Troy residents were forged on petitions to put medical marijuana in front of the voters.

The city clerk tossed the pot proposal, but now, the group behind the signatures is suing to get it back on the ballot.

According to the pro-marijuana group, fewer than 20 signatures are in question, which is why members said the city shouldn't discount the hundreds of others who signed the petition.

The group People For A Responsible Troy ponied up the cash to collect signatures to put the marijuana issue on the ballot.

"I think that certainly for those 20 signatures, those are out and I’m not arguing it," said Jim Kelly, an attorney representing the group. "If it’s an invalid signature, it’s an invalid signature."

The group said 4,500 signatures were submitted, and they only needed 3,000 to get on the ballot. Pages of other signatures were tossed out for reasons such as not having a notary sign the page.

"I think the city clerk was overzealous," Kelly said. "There were several petitions that were not signed by a notary and she threw out all those otherwise valid signatures. I think that was a legal error."

It will be up to an Oakland County Circuit Court judge to make the call.

Troy police and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department are trying to get to the bottom of the fraudulent signatures. Sources told Local 4 the phony signatures can be traced back to one petition gatherer.

People For A Responsible Troy and city officials both want to know who is responsible.

About the Authors:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.