He is currently in jail, but the winning candidate for president of the Caledonia Village Council says he still intends to serve.
Tuesday, Nov. 8, Todd Grinage was elected Caledonia Village President, five days after he was sentenced to serve 60 days in the Kent County jail. He was convicted of operating while intoxicated/impaired, third offense. That's a felony.
His attorney, Andrew Rodenhouse, says it appears many citizens voted for Grinage in spite of his legal problem.
“I don't know if people knew or not,” he says. “It wasn't a secret. It’s all part of the public record. He talked about it and never hid if from anybody.”
Grinage, 53, was arrested by a Kent County sheriff's deputy following a June 11 traffic stop on Broadmoor Avenue SE in Caledonia Township.
He pleaded guilty in September to operating while intoxicated/impaired third offense. Kent County Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock on Nov. 3 sentenced Grinage to 60 days in jail and placed him on probation for five years. Grinage was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine along with $658 in fees and court costs.
The judge also ordered Grinage to perform 60 hours of community service.
Grinage was convicted of impaired driving in Barry County in Aug. 2008. He also has a Feb. 2010 conviction in Kent County for operating while intoxicated, court records show.
His attorney says someone who he would not name demanded Grinage give up the village president position or risk release of his criminal history to the media. When he refused, the threat was carried out.
“Todd believes in this community,” explains Rodenhouse. “He does a lot of great stuff for this community. He received a high percentage of the vote because Todd is well known in this area and for doing a lot of good things for other people.”
His 60-day jail term, which allows for work release, means in Grinage could miss at least two monthly council meetings.
“With good time credits he will be out in mid-December,” says Rodenhouse. “He will be out and he will be able to do just fine.”