Correction: An earlier version stated seven residents signed the letter, this has been updated to state that the actual number is around 30
Two Hillsdale city council members and a Tax Increment Financing Authority board member are facing calls to resign after attending the Jan. 6 march in Washington, D.C., that turned violent inside the U.S. Capitol building.
Around thirty Hillsdale residents signed the letter, which was addressed to City Clerk Katy Price, demanding Councilmembers Greg Stuchell and Robert Socha, and TIFA board member Lance Lashaway, resign “due to their participation and failure to denounce the events that took place.”
The Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” march in Washington, D.C., was organized to protest the certification of the presidential election results. The rally turned violent when some of the attendees illegally entered the Capitol building, vandalizing property and injuring several people. The altercations resulted in at least five deaths, including one police officer.
Councilman Greg Stuchell confirmed he did attend the protest with his daughter and that he went with a prayer group called the Jericho March. Stuchell noted he is “a little surprised” by the letter, and “how quickly the left has moved to try and remove our freedoms.”
“There were thousands of people there praying for our country. I was with a group of thousands of other Americans praying for our president, for our country, and for God to be brought back into our nation,” Stuchell said. “It is something that we all need to be doing in earnest.”
The letter, posted on Facebook, argues that participation in the rally alone “should have been enough to call for their resignation” but the violence further demonstrates the need for their departure. All three men, however, have denied involvement in the violence.
“Their participation in the coup attempt is enough, as they clearly fail to believe in the constitution and the democratic process in which we run our elections,” the letter reads. “Councilman Socha, Councilman Stuchell, and TIFA Board Member Lashaway need to resign immediately.”
Mayor Adam Stockford defended the councilmembers in a response to the letter on Facebook.
Stockford said the men “were exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and protest.”
“Both men are peaceful, family men and both men took their daughters with them. However you feel politically, no man would take their children with them to an event they expected to be violent and chaotic,” Stockford wrote in the Jan. 8 post. “I’m not excusing what happened at the Capitol, but our city councilmen had absolutely nothing to do with it. They have the same rights as everyone else.”