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Man who prank called Houghton County clerk sentenced

24-year-old Matthew Smith is sentenced to probation for one year related to an intimidating 2020 phone call he made to Houghton County clerk Jennifer Kelly. Smith had already pled guilty to malicious use of a telecommunication device last fall.

Smith is close friends with Justin Kasieta, Kelly’s political opponent at the time. Kasieta and a staffer for Senator Ed McBroom, Jake Putala, were both listening in. Kelly says Smith’s call turned threatening. He denies that. Kelly spoke about the issue at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

The judge and the prosecutor were absolutely amazing. I feel finally safe for the first time in almost two years. And I never knew everything was so political as I went through [with] that case.

Smith is barred from contacting Kelly and must complete 240 hours of community service. He is also required to write a 1,000-word essay about the seriousness of bullying political opponents. If Smith abides by the terms of the sentencing he will have his criminal record expunged a year from now. Smith lives in Genessee County, where he is active in local politics and a member of the Davison School District Board of Education.

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