Kent County Commissioner resigns to focus on proving 'absolute and complete innocence'
Gary Rolls resigned from the Kent County Commission today. In a brief written statement to the board, Rolls thanked his constituents for allowing him to serve.
“I will use this time to prepare for trial to prove my absolute and complete innocence,” Rolls’ letter said. The resignation takes effect January 1st, 2014.
“We accepted the resignation of Commissioner Rolls this morning,” said Dan Koorndyk, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “We appreciate that he recognizes it is better for the Board of Commissioners to select a new member who can represent District 4 without distraction.”
Rolls was charged with four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, using a computer to commit a crime, and tampering with evidence. Penalties for the sexual assault charges can be up to life in prison.
Rolls has been under investigation for several months after a 29 year old Muskegon woman attempted to get a personal protection order against him more than a year ago.
In her request, the woman recounts multiple incidents of sexual abuse over decades. She says the first incident happened at his home in Rockford when she was 12. She says Rolls' son was a friend of hers.
The Ionia County prosecutors' office is handling the case because of Rolls' elected position in Kent County. Michigan State Police investigated the case
Rolls is out of jail on a $500,000 bond.
The Kent County Commission will appoint someone to fill the remainder of Rolls’ term, through December 2014.