ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs was arrested and accused of retail fraud on Wednesday.
Police said she stole groceries at a self-checkout at a Meijer store.
Just last week she was censured for attending a protest in Lansing against Michigan’s stay-at-home order. A censure is a formal condemnation.
Statement on behalf of Royal Oak Commissioner Kim Gibbs Regarding misdemeanor shoplifting:
"Former Royal Oak City Attorney Charles Semchena, Jr. released the following statement today, May 6, 2020 on behalf of current Royal Oak City Commissioner Kimberly Gibbs.
Unfortunately, Kim Gibbs made a serious indiscretion today at a local Meijer store. Without being able to work, and not having yet received a single unemployment check payment has wrecked her personal financial situation. COVID-19 stay-at home orders, her appearance at “Operation Gridlock” on April 15 have led to Kim being a target of threats, harassment, national media attention and last week’s censure by the Royal Oak City, in violation of my constitutional rights, has led to constant distress, anxiety, depression and the inability to sleep.
I would like to apologize to my family, friends and especially my constituents for my substantial lapse in judgement on Wednesday, May 6. A combination of many external factors led to me taking items from the Meijer store without paying for all of them. The economic impact of the COVID-19 statewide lockdown has taken a serious toll on me personally.
I obviously was not thinking clearly, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Recently, I had to choose between insulin and food, and I chose the insulin, which helps me stay alive; however, that left extraordinarily little money for food after paying for medical insurance and insulin.
Thanks to the support of family and friends, I am now being treated by medical professionals for these issues and my Type 1 diabetes and I look forward to getting back to normal.
I deeply regret any issue, or concern, this has caused for my supporters. I have realized, as I have been told by friends, that I need, and am seeking help. I know that my opponent in November and the City Commission will turn this incident into more partisan politics, however kicking people when they are down should not be condoned by anyone.
Michiganders, and people around the country, are suffering with the economic and personal pain COVID has brought to every one of us. We need now, more than ever, to stand together as Americans and get back working so others do not face the same health consequences I am facing.