Report: Ex-commissioner left work early before threatening phone call

Steven Redmond
A Dec. 8, 2016 mug shot of Steven Redmond. (Michigan Department of Corrections)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Kentwood commissioner who investigators say threatened a resident during an anonymous phone call took a sick day from his regular job the day of the incident.

Steven Redmond is charged with malicious use of telecommunications services in connection to the Oct. 19 incident. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but changed his plea to no contest on March 7, court records show.

Redmond works for the Michigan Department of Transportation. An MDOT investigation obtained by 24 Hour News 8 through the Freedom of Information Act shows Redmond emailed the agency halfway through his work day, saying he was “suffering big time from hay fever.”

Redmond said he was “going to head home” instead of traveling to the meeting he was scheduled to attend in Muskegon.

In the report, Redmond said on the way home, he began to feel better and realized he had not had anything to eat. He said he visited the Garage Bar in Grand Rapids because “they had onion rings” which he thought would help settle his stomach. Redmond admitted in the report that while he was there, he “had alcoholic beverages.”

Steve Redmond
An undated courtesy photo of Steve Redmond from his campaign Facebook page.

According to investigators, video from the bar shows Redmond set his cellphone down on the bar and ask to use the bar’s cordless phone, which he used to make the call to the resident.

The bartender said Redmond was a frequent customer, usually coming in between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. MDOT noted Redmond’s scheduled work shift is from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Redmond was suspended for 10 days from his regular job at MDOT for failing to carry out his duties and conduct unbecoming of a state employee, according to the agency’s report. His resignation last month from the city commission was part of the last chance agreement with MDOT.

Redmond is expected back in court for sentencing on April 24.