Prosecutor Worthy is ineligible to run for reelection, her opponent alleges in complaint to election officials

Jun 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm
click to enlarge Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. - Photo via Wayne County
Photo via Wayne County
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

The Wayne County Election Commission is meeting Friday morning to consider a challenge to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s candidacy for reelection.

click to enlarge Victoria Burton-Harris. - Courtesy of Victoria Burton-Harris
Courtesy of Victoria Burton-Harris
Victoria Burton-Harris.
Worthy’s opponent, Victoria Burton-Harris, alleges the prosecutor failed to file her post-election statement as required by law. In Worthy’s Affidavit of Identity, she attested that she had filed “all” requisite statements by March 20.

“Since the affidavit of identity contains a false statement, she cannot be certified as a candidate for the office of Wayne County Prosecutor for the August 4, 2020 Primary Election,” Burton-Harris says in a complaint to the Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett and Wayne County Election Commission.

“My filing with the Wayne County Clerk’s Office was correct in all respects and follows all the requirements of Michigan Election Laws,” Worthy wrote in a statement to Metro Times. “I look forward to being on the ballot and continuing to fight vigorously for the citizens of Wayne County.”

Burton-Harris said the law is clear: Worthy cannot be certified as a candidate because the affidavit contains a false statement.

"Not only does her false statement render her ineligible to appear on the ballot in August, but her failure to file a post-election statement is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine, 93 days in jail, or both," Burton-Harris tells Metro Times.

Burton-Harris, a popular defense attorney and civil rights advocate, is Worthy’s only primary election opponent.

A native of Flint, Burton-Harris earned her B.A. in political science and African-American studies from the University of Michigan and then received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Burton-Harris created McCaskey Law in downtown Detroit, where she served as an advocate for young people, community organizers, abused women, and victims of police brutality.

“Victoria is running for county prosecutor to be that progressive gatekeeper; a prosecutor who believes in justice for all; a prosecutor who will establish practices that promote the goals of individualized justice without producing unfair disparities among similarly situated defendants and victims of crime; a prosecutor who is transparent and accountable to the people; a prosecutor that truly prioritizes public safety,” her election website reads.

Burton-Harris lives in Detroit with her husband Robert Burton-Harris, who serves as a public defender, their 2-year-old son Langston James (in honor of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin), and their dog Sasha.

Burton-Harris is requesting that Wayne County Election Commission member Eric Sabree, the county’s treasurer, recuse himself because he has several conflicts of interest: He endorsed Worthy; his daughter was employed by Worthy as an assistant prosecuting attorney; Worthy endorsed Sabree’s reelection campaign; and Worthy voted to appoint Sabree to the position of treasurer when it became vacant.

The 10 a.m. Election Commission meeting is open to the public via Zoom. The Meeting ID is 988 6150 0065.

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