Watch CBS News

Group of Michigan Republicans seek court intervention in decision to oust Kristina Karamo

Michigan Republicans who voted to remove Kristina Karamo asks court to intervene
Michigan Republicans who voted to remove Kristina Karamo asks court to intervene 00:28

(CBS DETROIT) - The decision over who will be the Michigan GOP chair after Republicans ousted Kristina Karamo has now turned into a lawsuit against Karamo filed on Friday in Kent County Circuit Court.

Members of the Michigan Republican State Committee voted to remove Karamo earlier this month. Following the vote, co-chair Malinda Pego began serving as acting chair until another election.

Karamo has since refused to acknowledge the vote, even "brazenly and repeatedly" maintained that she holds the role, according to court documents. She claims the meeting was illegally organized and would only step down if there was a legitimate vote. 

Republicans who are seeking the court to uphold the vote allege that Karamo's refusal to accept the vote has caused "significant confusion among elected precinct delegates and the county Republican organizations throughout Michigan who rely on guidance from the Committee," court records show.

Karamo was elected the chair in 2023 after being unsuccessful in winning the Secretary of State seat against incumbent Jocelyn Benson.

Improper meetings?

Issues among the party arose amid financial woes, with many pointing fingers are Karamo. A lack of fundraising and transparency during her tenure has pushed many of her former supporters to seek to oust her.

Members of the committee met on Jan. 6, with more than 80% of those in attendance voting to remove Karamo. About 45 people, not including proxies, attended the meeting. 

Then, a week later, on Jan. 13, Karamo held a special meeting with members at that meeting voting to reinstate her as chair and remove Pego and six other members from the committee.

Now, there is a debate over whether the bylaws were properly followed in the separate meetings.

Karamo sends cease and desist notice

A day before the lawsuit was filed, Karamo sent a cease and desist notice to Pego and other committee members, alleging defamation of character.

According to the notice, which was posted on MIGOP's website, Karamo accused certain members of "spreading inaccurate and unfounded information."

Karamo threatened a lawsuit if the party did not cease the alleged statements.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.