Walberg staffer convicted of misdemeanor resigns post

Analysis

This story is based upon the fact that a campaign staffer for the 7th Congressional District GOP candidate has resigned due to claims of child abuse. The story cites a court date for the staffer and the omitted portion of this Associated Press story provides more details of the case. This is only the second story on this race in the Grand Rapids Press since the August 8 Primary and the first was based on an action being taken by the GOP loser in the Primary. What value does this story have for voters? Why are there not stories on the candidates and their platforms for this race?

Article Text

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A campaign staff member for Republican U.S. House candidate Tim Walberg has resigned while awaiting sentencing on a domestic violence charge.

Daniel A. Coons, 30, of Eaton Rapids, was the volunteer coordinator for Walberg’s campaign. He resigned Wednesday morning, the Walberg campaign said.

Coons was initially charged with third-degree child abuse, a misdemeanor, on allegations he struck his 9-year-old foster son in the face Aug. 27. Coons pleaded guilty Sept. 18 to domestic violence, a lesser misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail or a $500 fine.

Coons is set to be sentenced in Eaton County District Court on Nov. 13, six days after the election.

Article Ommitted from The Grand Rapids Press Version

“Dan believed that it was wrong to turn his family issues into political issues,” Walberg campaign manager Joe Wicks said in a written statement Wednesday. “In addition, the attention he was receiving was hurting his chances of reuniting his family.”

Walberg, a former pastor from Tipton, is seeking to represent Michigan’s 7th District in Congress. He is running against Democrat Sharon Renier of Munith.

According to a police report, Coons told officers he “tackled” his foster son, struck him once and pushed the boy’s head into the floor in an attempt to control him.

Coons’ wife, Sarah Coons, told police the boy started the fight by refusing to stay in his room and then jumped on her back before her husband “took (him) to the ground.”

Daniel Coons’ attorney, David A. Kallman of Lansing, told The Jackson Citizen Patriot that Coons “was defending his wife against a child who was out of control.”

The couple’s two foster children were removed from their home, the newspaper reported. The Michigan Foster Care Review Board ruled the children should be returned to the couple, said Mike Kutas, an Eaton County court administrator.

A recommendation is pending from Michigan Children’s Institute, a division of the Department of Human Services, Kutas said.

“The state’s Foster Care Review Board investigated this matter and recommends that this family be reunited. I support that decision,” Walberg told the newspaper.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org