Former MAGA Candidate John Gibbs Placed on Leave Over Threatening Comments

Another drama is infolding in Ottawa County, Michigan, where former Trump-endorsed MAGA candidate John Gibbs has been placed on administrative leave as County Administrator, and is being accused of threatening and disparaging comments made toward county commissioners.

Several complaints by county employees were listed in a letter published by Joe Moss, chairman of the county board, and the county legal team.

Among the complaints:

  • Gibbs made “extremely disparaging comments about the female Commissioners, most notably sexual/defamatory comments about Commissioner Gretchen Cosby on multiple occasions.”
  • Gibbs “routinely” made negative comments about the religion of commissioners and the county’s corporate counsel — the Kallman Legal Group, led by attorney David Kallman — saying their “Protestant faith severely impacted their IQ and work ethic.”
  • Gibbs used ableist slurs when referring to Cosby and other OI commissioners as “retard evangelicals.”
  • Gibbs “has expressed on multiple occasions that he wants to ‘beat Jack Jordan [a county attorney] to death’ for perceived slights.”
  • Other commissioners were worried about Gibbs treating other people with “unwarranted aggression.”
  • Gibbs made an employee help him install a hidden camera on his desk to record conversations with commissioners and employees.

Gibbs’ attorney sent Moss a letter on Feb. 15 that said Gibbs would resign if he received a payout under the terms of his employment: a lump sum payment of the entire amount owed to Mr. Gibbs pursuant to his employment agreement, i.e., $630,000.

Moss said during Thursday’s meeting that Gibbs’ attorney later lowered that figure to $420,000. Moss said that the current contract says a terminated administrator would be due $210,000.

“Mr. Gibbs is not demanding a king’s ransom like some of his contemporaries,” the letter from Gibbs’ attorney said, an apparent reference to the $4 million settlement proposal with health officer Adeline Hambley that never came to fruition.

In the latest statement from Gibbs’ attorney on Friday, Gibbs rejected Moss’ claim of transparency [regarding the published letter] and said the commission chair was instead “waging a public war” against Gibbs, “all because John Gibbs would not be his puppet.”

Holland Sentinel, WOOD-tv

Background on Ottawa County and John Gibbs

Republican John Gibbs was highlighted by a 2022 Democratic campaign as “too conservative for West Michigan” in a primary against Rep. Peter Meijer, one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment. Gibbs lost to Democrat Hillary Scholten in a district not represented by a Democrat for four decades.

Ottawa County fundie freak board commissioners were highlighted recently in News Views for offering $4 million for a county health officer’s dismissal over pandemic mask mandates. (A ruling in that matter deemed the proposal non-binding and is currently under legal negotiation.)

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