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Hillsdale City Clerk Stephen French was placed on unpaid admin­is­trative leave Monday for vio­lating the city’s social media policy.

Wiki­media Commons

City Manager David Mackie said French sent an “inap­pro­priate” email to a Hillsdale County res­ident.

Mackie said this was the first time the city has enforced its social media policy, which states city employees can’t “dis­crim­inate or harass res­i­dents while in office” and that they must “maintain the city’s rep­u­tation” both on and offline.

The res­ident — iden­tified on social media as Marcy Almay — was active in voicing crit­i­cisms of French, setting up Facebook pages for that purpose.

In his email to Almay, French ref­er­enced an alleged arrest of Almay’s in 2014.

French sent the email after Almay allegedly cir­cu­lated a story about his past. In 2009, according to MLive, French was arrested in Ohio for solic­iting a pros­titute and han­dling a firearm while intox­i­cated.

“My friends called and told me you sent an email. Just wanted you to know anyone can cut and paste,” French said in the email, implying he would spread infor­mation about Almay.

French could not be reached for comment. Mackie said French is scheduled to return to work on Thursday.

“Most employees and elected offi­cials abide by common-sense rules,” Mackie said. “This was an example when an employee didn’t keep himself in check. Stephen was aware of the vio­lation. He felt like he was repeatedly attacked, and he fell victim to responding in an inap­pro­priate manner.”

Mackie said he hopes this incident proves to be an example of how influ­ential social media can be.

“We felt this needed to be addressed,” he said. “But we hope we won’t have to address it again in the future.”

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a junior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her third year writing for the Collegian and served as last semester's City News Editor. Kaylee is currently studying in Washington D.C., where she works for the Weekly Standard and contributes to the Collegian as our D.C. correspondent. Kaylee has also worked as an editorial intern for the Detroit News. Follow her on Twitter: @kmcghee04 email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu
  • Marcy Almay

    This story was obtained by Hillsdale City Council Can­didate Penny Swan INFORMING on me for my identity, which then had the reporter Kaylee McGhee commit fraud to obtain infor­mation and intel­lectual property from me that she agreed would not bear my name. Read the actual words of Kaylee McGhee of how AFTER she got 10 hours worth of infor­mation, she uneth­i­cally revoked her consent not to publish my name, claiming I post on social media so she and all the Collegian’s editors felt it legally ok to invade my privacy for their story, which they COULD NOT have got without filing a Freedom of Infor­mation Act Request, which you can read in Kaylee’s own words, she was simply not wanting to do. This is a dis­gusting show of how morals, ethics and virtues are NOT taught at Hillsdale College. Richard Pewe is aware of this sit­u­ation and appar­ently acqui­esced to this fraud com­mitted against me, so I’m seeking an attorney and suing the Hillsdale College Board of Trustees so look forward to seeing all of this and more whistle­blowing about non edu­cation related actions done by this non profit “reli­gious” college in a court of law. The funny thing is, to read this? She wrote the story ABOUT ME, not about the city official that vic­timized me and got sus­pended, and her inten­tional and careful manner of men­tioning me several times shows her lack of integrity and mali­cious intent to cause me emo­tional harm. See you in court, Col­legian.
    https://www.facebook.com/1274483399329471/photos/a.1274581079319703.1073741827.1274483399329471/1274581029319708/?type=1&theater

    • Penny Swan

      Informing??? I tagged Kylee in a post and sent her a screenshot of the post. Trying to champion your cause Marcy, I am absolutely against Mr French’s actions, and the stupid social media policy that the City of Hillsdale has. They needs a morals and ethics policy.

      • Marcy Almay

        Look, you attack EVERYONE for being “neg­ative” but guess what? Life ain’t no “Tony Robbins” seminar and I’m not him. I stand by every word I say because I vett it out legally, and com­pletely and would go to court and defend EVERY WORD of it and win. The problem with people like you is that you claim you’re some big hero, then you tell people to shut up and not use their Con­sti­tu­tional right to speak their mind freely about their gov­ernment. Guess you don’t recall trolling me all over Hot Debates tat­tling on me like a child, claiming I’m name calling or bringing up sub­jects too much. I didn’t ASK for your cri­tique, but it says a whole lot about the kind of person and problem you would be IF you got on council. As I told you then, and will reit­erate, you are NOT my boss and whatever delu­sional uni­verse you live in, trust me, I want no part of it. French is, and was hired to be, a THUG for the city offices and will remain such for you, Stockford as mayor, nothing will change around here until we get a strong, UNcor­rupted pros­e­cutor who isn’t part­nering with crim­inals around here and par­doning public integrity crimes done to cit­izens. I’m sorry to explain reality to you Penny, the Hillsdale City Council is about as important to this world as an ant, and so is your vision of this area. If Briner beats you, its because you guys should have brought French’s election fraud to the feds weeks ago, and didn’t want to be “neg­ative’. However, attacking your sup­porters? (((Winks!))) that’s all good, right? I would suggest you go attack someone who cares, and be a control freak to them, not inter­ested and not in the mood to listen to it, as you probably note by the fact I’m both­ering to respond to you at all, which I used to NOT do out of respect, but hey, you want to argue? Make a fool out of yourself! Again, I’M not running for office!

      • Joseph Hendee

        There still is freedom of speech Penny. Marcy has been spot on on a lot of issues. I might not always agree with her methods but she is one dam good researcher.

        • Joseph Hendee

          I don’t agree with the name calling though.

          • Joseph Hendee

            When I say spot on I mean issues in local gov­ernment.

          • Marcy Almay

            See, that’s the thing, Penny has spent so much time wor­rying about policing others that her message gets lost. I didn’t agree with a few things you posted Joe, and labels you gave people, but I didn’t say a word about it, because why? That’s YOUR opinion and I respect your right to HAVE ONE! That’s America. Wor­rying about how someone says some­thing is simply petty, there’s nothing in the Con­sti­tution that requires people to be nice about the gov­ernment when they screw over the public. I don’t even know what she stands for, I just know that she nit picks people a LOT for their per­sonal thoughts and she demanded out­right that I stop speaking out about things because it was making her look bad that Hillsdale Hot Debates is asso­ciated with HER! She wants to be gov­ernment employee as an elected official, she should know that she has no right to CENSOR private cit­izens before she starts doing a Patrick Flannery head spinning Exorcist “you all all devils” speech too! Really, the worst thing about this area is that people learn nothing from the mis­takes of the past, she’s acting like a cookie cutter version of the SAME OLD THING that didn’t work for years now. I don’t exist to hold Penny’s hand into office, the city is a big shark tank and that’s no place for a small fish. Instead of defending her, tell her “toughen up but­tercup!” because her trolling me and responding to every­thing I say? WHO CARES what I say, I’m nobody, she might want to start wor­rying about what her ward’s con­stituents say instead.

    • Penny Swan

      Maybe you should actually talk to the person you are accusing before blasting it all over the World Wide Web.

      • Marcy Almay

        Penny are you serious? This reporter WROTE to me and said that you, a city council can­didate, told her the gossip fast. It’s my fault for trusting the sleazy reporter that lied to me about not using my name, but maybe you should take your admon­ish­ments to HER for using your name, maybe sue the Colleigan? Oh, sorry, I forgot, you CAN’T because you’re too busy becoming the exact type of person that you claimed you hated for all those years of being on the side­lines. Really Penny, I’ve lis­tened to your con­stant whining about your vic­timhood in the city offices for the past few weeks, it’s really painful to endure, but please, (((steps aside)) give yourself another forum to listen to yourself show people exactly why they should NOT vote for you! Lucky me, I won’t ever run for office and I’m obvi­ously not in a pop­u­larity contest. Have at it girl! Just remember, you came on here opening your big mouth at me, so if it costs you votes, oh well.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/284ed69817350a0851236a599b35e6c7e0d48ec80e2735311af8d7601c7ae8a0.png

        • Penny Swan

          My eyes are wide open now!

    • George Gibbs

      You were winning me at first, Marcy — but then you rattled off an addi­tional 13 VERY long-winded posts that (with all due respect) smack of “con­spiracy nut”. Hon­estly, having no context on the story, to me this article makes the city official look worse than you … But then I scrolled down and read your sus­pi­ciously unhinged com­ments and screen­shots, com­plete with unnec­essary threats against everyone and every­thing. Sorry, this is how you resign potential allies.

      • Marcy Almay

        I’m sorry you don’t approve of what I post, how much of it I post or what I say. Thanks for the per­sonal attack though, you’re trash to speak to a woman that way, guess Stephen French has some like-minded fans, which is NOT sur­prising!

      • Joseph Hendee

        Marcy has been spot on on many issues George.

        • Marcy Almay

          It’s ok Joe, don’t defend me. He must not be able to read or some­thing, it’s no worries about ignorant hicks coming after me, I don’t see their lazy a**** wor­rying about how bad crime is, the guy probably lives else­where and gets a free Imprimis on our tax money and thinks he knows some­thing because some reli­gious school told him what to think about pol­itics, LOL! The Imprimis “war­riors” really should just say thanks for the free mag­azine sub­scription, it’s so thankless being one of the tax­payers bur­dened with Larry Arnn’s sub­versive pro­pa­ganda machine’s costs. Hey George? Just be a gen­tleman and say thanks for the free stuff next time.

        • George Gibbs

          I don’t doubt it, Joseph. But this is an incredible amount of political outrage and muck­raking for a country town of a few thousand people and a little college. Granted, I might just not know how the Internet works when it comes to what people like this post online for all to see, but I almost feel like the police ought to pay Ms. Almay a visit to make sure she isn’t a danger to herself or others, poten­tially one day subject to her esca­lating notion of “justice”. She sounded like she’s already threat­ening to sue a student jour­nalist, after all.

          • Joseph Hendee

            she is not a danger to herself or anyone else George. People might think the same of me for all I know. Just the sug­gestion in my opinion is wrong.

          • Marcy Almay

            Joe, for real, he’s probably Stephen French on some fake profile whining about people daring to expose what the Mayor should have from the start, it’s not a big deal, the guy can think whatever he wants, send allll the cops he wants, who cares? LOL just costs tax­payers money, and remember, I live in the county, the sheriff’s respect free speech. Obvi­ously, this shill wants to throw shade to cover for facts offered. Again, I don’t need defense from anyone, the fact stands, I didn’t run for office, I’m not a city employee, but attacking the public for speaking out is just the way that city is! Look at how they went after Jeff King and tried to get him arrested, they do this all the time, no worries!

          • George Gibbs

            But in your dispute with the city and the press, which COULD be legit­imate, you nonetheless took the time to post — for example — a screenshot of the college’s pres­ident making an obvious joke in an interview about the volume of Catholic stu­dents on his campus. I ask: What does that have to do with any­thing? It damages my ability, as a member of the public, to take your legal cause seri­ously when you issue total “red her­rings” against tan­gential parties that you (I assume) just happen to dislike. If you care so much about the real issue, then stay focused and diplo­matic. Oth­erwise you make yourself easy to dis­credit. That’s my advice, take it or leave it.

          • Marcy Almay

            Would you like to say that in a court of law sir? It’s really pathetic that the best you can con­tribute is igno­rance, but hey, send the police so I can get the com­plaint and know where to serve a lawsuit for what you posted about me on here.

  • Marcy Almay

    And by the way? What Stephen French did to me is not a vio­lation of the city’s social media policy, its a FELONY under the Michigan Penal Code. He stalked, harassed, inves­ti­gated and ter­rorized a private citizen in an effort to deprive her of her civil rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, right of grievance, and freedom of expression. The reporter who ran this “poor Stephen French” fluff piece for the city left out that he was kicked out of his clerk’s job in Kala­mazoo for vio­lating election law by TWICE counting absentee ballots without a witness, which could easily fix an election in a small town like Hillsdale is, and they left out that French was CONVICTED, taking a plea deal on his arrest in that pros­ti­tution sting. Mackie, the Mayor, they KNEW this man was a danger to the public when they hired him, then when he commits a felony on city time from a city email account from city com­puters, they claim he was “harassed”? The state­ments in this article show that the city of Hillsdale is willing to risk the safety of private cit­izens just to cover for their hires, which are trending to be people with serious criminal pasts, which post a threat to public safety, but appar­ently, being spoon fed sound bytes by the city manager (who himself was thrown out of the city of Taylor Michigan for million dollar short­falls in his department, AND was inves­ti­gated for selling unreg­is­tered secu­rities, which he admitted to during his interview process with the city and has serious credit problems which make his ability to be trusted with YOUR TAXES be in doubt) is enough for a reporter who seem­ingly wants to target the private cit­izens who dare speak out around here, and vilify them, from a college who doesn’t seem to care about free speech, peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, right of grievance or even SIMPLE INTEGRITY at all. But the inac­curacy of claiming that some tiny city in rural Michigan can over­throw not just the Michigan Penal code “by policy” but all rights of an indi­vidual under the US Con­sti­tution is laughable. Thought I’d let that be known as well, what Stephen French did by stalking a critic from the city offices embezzled hours of tax­payer time doing things he was not hired to do, which is par for him, he’s on social media on tax­payer time ALL DAY LONG trolling for any critics of city offi­cials and threat­ening people to not dare speak out about the lack of char­acter of the offi­cials in Hillsdale.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62c281f10ea5b02a5e602ecc65a4f100d0e37b4e2c13b4ef38f73fb591668bf4.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Free Speech, Peaceful Assembly, Right of Grievance, Freedom of Expression, civil rights all. Actionable if abridged by any local, state or federal policy, spoken or oth­erwise shown in pat­terned behavior.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bf170d552af250d06675920c0b76f748676055a8a970097549ddf7ec1304e0f8.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Appar­ently, David Mackie likes having “muscle” that shuts the public up, doing his dirty work FOR him. To launch a defense by calling free speech “harassment” is the most alarming this this story exposed. Stephen French posted clearly and without shame on his per­sonal page that he would go after anyone who crit­i­cized ANY of his col­leagues, this months ago, and stalking the public seems to be part of his very job description now, according to Mackie’s defense of his actions as somehow jus­ti­fiable. So just know, I am not the only one French went after, nor will I be the last, he appar­ently is there to keep the public in line. None of that FREE SPEECH stuff in Hillsdale, right?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e551c0bba40bcd08b6f4c0b4731f33ee52f9f2bd20bd302c029c80074b24bb30.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Hillsdale College Trea­surer Patrick Flannery is one of those who lux­u­riate under the pro­tection that Stephen French affords council, and he can’t handle it at all when people bring griev­ances to the city, I was expecting his HEAD to spin 360 degrees at any second while watching him on the city council meeting where he marked the public with 666 from his city council seat, cursing them as devils, it was really sad to watch, but indicative of how Hillsdale College is cranking out free Con­sti­tu­tions but appar­ently not teaching that pesky equal pro­tection under the law stuff very well, nor all the rights cit­izens have to freely speak about public offi­cials or tax­payer paid appointees or con­tractors. If the college is proud of this man, that would be the saddest com­mentary of all on how Hillsdale College is NOT a reli­gious school, but a very nasty political non profit with a edu­ca­tional cult as a side business. This reporter breaching an agreement the pub­li­cation made with me is just another show of just how bit­terly entwined with pol­itics the school really is.

    https://livestream.com/accounts/9325819/council/videos/161652498

    ://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4568599d822f70dcfec869df9492ea8962cbc11f1fa2154b71f33e953bc4f530.png

  • Marcy Almay

    (Cont’d) Patrick Flannery, Hillsdale College Trea­surer who doubles as a City Coun­cilman was defending Jason Walters, who ter­rorized a young woman by holding her hostage, making her think she was going to be killed, just so he could steal money. The city’s decision to hire an armed hostage taking thief was not just heinous, being Michigan is #2 in the nation for Human Traf­ficking and no one SUPERVISES Walters at the airport, and none of his sup­porters posted bond to assure tax­payers won’t be liable for damages that may result from hiring such a ridiculous choice to run an airport with full autonomy, but then, the College’s Richard Pewe gave Walters an 8 million dollar ter­minal project to raise funds for, this just a decade or so after the man was let out of prison for his crimes. But you know, as you watch several grown men, city leg­islative offi­cials have what Coun­cilman Watkins called a “love fest” for Walters? It amazed me that not ONE of those men found it to be insen­sitive to the victim of Walter’s hor­rible act, a victim who has had her life ruined by severe trauma from Walter’s actions, not one council person spoke out for an innocent person whose entire life was ruined, who has to read about and hear about this “prom queen” Walters has become, yet the council thinks it’s great because he looks better than he did the day he grabbed the woman from her home at gun point and ter­rorized her and her family for hours, costing the public a SWAT team to save her. For not one man to care about what was done n to Mrs. Goodlock is the most tragic thing about the city of Hillsdale, even beyond the threats and men­acing behavior of the city clerk, the other criminal recently put in charge of high traffic public contact, a man who has a criminal history he plead guilty to for wielding a gun drunk AT POLICE! Too bad police aren’t with every citizen around here when Stephen French is threat­ening them. What a damned shame this area is. Seri­ously sad and shameful

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c279a986f992f804811e44707ec99864da65253738d9750ae390f209c312e46d.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Sick of the tone around here that cor­ruption is an elitist “right?” because pros­e­cutor Brady is employed by Hillsdale College and relies so heavily on their support in his elec­tions that anyone who works for the college is SCARED to speak the truth about how victims have zero rights around here? Brady runs a criminal defense firm out of the prosecutor’s office, it’s dis­gusting. Maybe the “reli­gious” college should drain their OWN swamp and keep their admin­is­trative offi­cials out of our gov­ernment, and stop threat­ening the jobs of people who use free speech around here, and not hire our elected offi­cials to work for the non profit reli­gious school. Then maybe Brady would have time to address the very serious problem with hard drugs this com­munity has, maybe Gary Wolfram wouldn’t be prof­i­teering off the city con­tract by getting paid by private mar­i­juana lobbies to push mar­i­juana shops onto the city while being a city employee, but maybe we’d have a TRIAL around here if Brady wasn’t so busy running around the college giving filthy looks to critics, right?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24b31c91601afd36aed7c2b689bf75c4d8b9d30e4fb070cb588fdb5c329d35ce.png

  • Marcy Almay

    So yes, this reporter sure got one up on me! She played me for a real fool, someone who had no idea that the college news­paper editors would print my name no matter WHAT she agreed to, after she got all the infor­mation she needed, which stopped her from having to make a FOIA request, and allowed her to write how the city is being vic­timized by people who are sick of them hiring crim­inals that strong arm the Con­sti­tution right out of the citizen’s hands, and think they can commit criminal acts in office since Brady doesn’t pros­ecute public integrity crimes. https://www.facebook.com/199837823686432/photos/pb.199837823686432. – 2207520000.1505409721./422396121430600/?type=3&theater

  • Marcy Almay

    Richard Pewe, the Chairman of the Airport Advisory Com­mittee for the city of Hillsdale did this, assured an 8 million dollar private/public part­nership would be con­trolled fully by a con­victed armed hostage taking thief that pros­e­cutor Brady was in the PA’s office and KNOWS com­mitted a fright­en­ingly heinous crime that trau­ma­tized a young girl for life. What’s next, what if Walters wants mil­lions, shouldn’t Pewe be worried that he’s giving big donor lists to Walters, and Walters might decide to ditch the airport and hold some bil­lionaire hostage for a big payoff and fly away to some area that doesn’t extradite? Pewe can say he trusts Walters, but why hasn’t he bought an insurance policy for tax­payers to assure that the ONGOING work Walters is doing to raise cash for that expansion won’t put tax­payers at risk? I mean, Pewe being out in the city messing with gov­ernment business means the college could be liable for whatever he does to risk tax money, are you guys insured for armed hostage taking that your CFO facil­i­tated big donors to be at risk of on an ongoing basis?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/42b011cb36de1888e6f3de745dd283606198a9ec95edb49e8e0df348df155d4b.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Hillsdale College has had this com­munity under a hostile takeover for a while now, in every manner they can. I am not ashamed to say I think it’s dis­gusting, and vio­lating of sep­a­ration of church and state to have a reli­gious college so heavily taking over local tax­payer funded ser­vices, but I will tell you, this com­pletely shocking sit­u­ation with the reli­gious college’s news­paper really should alarm private cit­izens in this area for how anyone who invokes their con­sti­tu­tional rights gets attacked and “named” as a trou­ble­maker. It’s really shameful that a simple agreement in what I claim was con­tractual, and that con­sid­er­a­tions were given but the collegian’s reporter failed to honor is just another show of how under­handed and ANTI christian Hillsdale College really is. But hey, she got my name out there, so anyone want to know any­thing else about the city, aside from them hiring crim­inals that risk people’s safety?

    https://www.facebook.com/The-Hillsdale-Collegian-committed-Fraud-against-me-1274483399329471/

  • Marcy Almay

    Please don’t forget to hit “like” on the Stephen French page, where you can read the ACTUAL details and more articles and police reports from his pros­ti­tution arrest are forth­coming, people are sending tons of infor­mation to me, begging to have it posted so that the public knows about his vio­la­tions of election laws and criminal past and threats to stalk any critics of ANY city offi­cials! https://www.facebook.com/Hillsdale-Michigan-city-clerk-Stephen-Frenchs-prostitution-and-gun-charges-1695459097411181/

  • Marcy Almay

    And its just a sug­gestion, but maybe you guys should do a story on your school’s pres­ident claiming to have a plan for the per­se­cution of Catholics. I sure didn’t think his dis­gust­ingly insen­sitive remarks were humorous. The last person that got a giggle out of reli­gious per­se­cution later killed 5 million Jews, is Arnn angling for THAT title next?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1017e3c88b7b4736bffb5db03f6957a870bba80c2db649893013f86936bb44eb.png

  • Marcy Almay

    Still waiting for the answer from this reli­gious school newspaper’s bosses, those who run Hillsdale College, to respond for why this reporter broke a con­tractual agreement with me AFTER getting the con­sid­er­ation of my coop­er­ation in this article. I want her fired and dis­ci­plined by the admin­is­tration for giving the college the image that they cannot be trusted, that they commit fraud to private cit­izens and that their reli­gious school isn’t abusing their non profit edu­ca­tional status to interfere with gov­ern­mental affairs by claiming this to be some boxing match instead of a public integrity crime com­mitted against a private citizen unpro­voked. Spinning this to make French into a victim is alarming. If he doesn’t want to be crit­i­cized then he never should have applied for the clerk’s job, go into the private sector where no one cares! But while you work for tax­payers, expect they’re going to assure you behave with integrity, and he clearly doesn’t in any manner, I’m not the only person he’s attacked, or restricted access to city ser­vices for and his public threats and claimed rights to inves­tigate ANY critics of the city have been long term, this one back in March 2017. He NEVER should have been hired for a high public contact job, never takes any respon­si­bility for what he does wrong, even back from when he was breaking election law back in Kala­mazoo! So pre­tending this was all about me is tragic, and I want what the Col­legian agreed to, I want my name removed from this article and I want her FIRED from that job for her com­plete lack of ethics and fraud she com­mitted in the College’s name from their reli­gious non profit’s news­paper. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e551c0bba40bcd08b6f4c0b4731f33ee52f9f2bd20bd302c029c80074b24bb30.png

  • Marcy Almay

    This is who Mayor Ses­sions sent after the public to shut them up. This is who David Mackie claims is a victim
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e551c0bba40bcd08b6f4c0b4731f33ee52f9f2bd20bd302c029c80074b24bb30.png