Former Southfield city clerk get no jail time, ordered to pay $10,000 fine for election mistake coverup

Sherikia Hawkins

A former Southfield city clerk who tried to cover up an election mistake will not spend time in jail but must pay a $10,000 fine for an election mistake coverup.

Sherikia Hawkins, who pleaded no contest to misconduct in office, was sentenced Thursday.

According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Hawkins tried to cover up a mistake during the November 2018 election by removing nearly 200 names from a list of absentee voters who had returned their ballots.

Nessel's office said election inspectors mistakenly put 193 absentee ballots in the ballot container without first running them through the tabulator. The ballot container was then sealed. Because of this error, the number of votes shown on the tabulator counter was 193 less than the number of absentee ballots received by the clerk’s office.

Instead of fixing this mistake, Hawkins is accused of removing those 193 names from the list of returned absentee ballots. She was caught when county election officials opened the ballot container and counted the votes.

As part of Hawkins' plea in October, five felony charges were dropped – election law - falsifying returns/records, forgery of a public record, using a computer to commit a crime - election law - falsifying returns/records, using a computer to commit a crime - forgery of a public record, and using a computer to commit a crime - misconduct in office.

Hawkins resigned from her role after her no contest plea.

Court records incorrectly stated that Hawkins would spend 1 day in jail. The records were later amended and this story has been corrected for accuracy.