Southfield clerk pleads no contest in 2018 election misconduct case

Southfield City Clerk Sherikia Hawkins. (WDIV)

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – A suburban Detroit official accused of altering voter records to cover up ballot-handling mistakes in 2018 has pleaded no contest to misconduct in office.

Sherikia Hawkins, a Democrat, also immediately resigned Wednesday as the elected clerk in Southfield.

In 2018, election workers in Southfield mistakenly put 193 absentee ballots in a container before running them through a tabulator. The container was subsequently sealed.

Hawkins was accused of removing 193 names from the absentee ballot list to cover up the discrepancy between the number of ballots in the box and the number on the tabulator, the attorney general's office said.

“No vote was altered or changed and there was no allegation that any alteration or change of votes occurred. ... She has decided that it is now in the best interests of her family and community to bring this case to a close,” Hawkins' attorney, Harold Gurewitz, said.

Under the plea deal, Hawkins will face financial penalties but no probation or time in custody, the attorney general’s office.