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Kentwood city commission chooses Groce for seat

9:53 PM, Feb 3, 2012   |    comments
  • Kentwood city seal in the city commission chambers.
  • The Kentwood City Commission voted Tuesday night to remove Ray VerWys from his seat.
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KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The city commission Friday named Maurice Groce, a banking executive, to fill its open seat.

The commission held a special meeting Friday, at which members voted unanimously to recommend Groce for the second ward seat formerly held by Ray VerWys.

Groce will be sworn into office at the regularly-scheduled city commission meeting on February 7.

VerWys has a felony conviction record for embezzlement.  On January 3 the commission voted to unseat VerWys from the second ward seat, using a city charter amendment approved by voters last November.  The amendment mandated that anyone with a felony conviction could not hold an elected city office.

After ousting VerWys, the commission took applications for the open seat.  Thirteen people applied, but only two finalists -- Groce and Betsy Artiz, were invited to Friday's special commission meeting for interviews.

According to the website, Groce is a vice president and branch manager for Mercantile Bank of Michigan.

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