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Kent County Commissioner resigns amid CSC charges

Commissioner Gary Rolls

Commissioner Gary Rolls

A Kent County Commissioner charged with four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct announced last week that he is resigning as of January 1, 2014.

Kent County District 4 Commissioner Gary Rolls, 47, represents the townships of Oakfield, Grattan, Cannon, Vergennes, and the City of Lowell. He was arraigned last month on the CSC charges, three of which involve a child, and one involving the victim at age 17. He is also charged with tampering with evidence and using a computer to commit a crime. Bond was set at $500,000 cash or surety, and Rolls bonded out.

The victim, who is now 28, was reportedly a former neighbor of Rolls, who he began assaulting when she was nine or ten, and it continued for 13 years. She filed a restraining order against him in 2012, which brought the crime to light.

In his resignation letter, Rolls thanked the citizens of Kent County for allowing him to serve them. “I will use this time to prepare for trial and prove my absolute and complete innocence,” he added.

Dan Koorndyk, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said they accepted his resignation. “We appreciate that he recognizes it is better for the

Board of Commissioners to select a new member who can represent District 4 without distraction.”

The Board of Commissioners has 30 days from the effective date of resignation to select an individual to replace Rolls through the rest of his term. The person selected for that seat will hold it through December 2014. Those seeking the appointment to District 4 to replace Rolls should send a letter and resume to the Board of Commissioners Office, 300 Monroe Avenue, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, by January 6, 2014.

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