Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairperson Monica Palmer, left, with her attorney, Michael Schwartz, seen here in October, was the target of text message and Instagram threats relating to the Nov.  3 presidential election.

Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairperson Monica Palmer, left, with her attorney, Michael Schwartz, seen here in October, was the target of text message and Instagram threats relating to the Nov. 3 presidential election.

File photo by Maria Allard

Charges filed against woman who allegedly threatened Board of Canvassers chairperson

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 24, 2020


WAYNE COUNTY — The FBI has filed charges against a 23-year-old woman for allegedly threatening Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chairperson Monica Palmer, a Grosse Pointe Woods Republican. 

In a complaint filed Dec. 22 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the FBI charged Katelyn Jones with threats of violence through interstate commerce against the United States. The U.S. is named as the plaintiff in the case. 

According to the complaint, Jones has a driver’s license out of Olivet, Michigan, but was staying at her mom’s home in New Hampshire when she was arrested Dec. 22.

During a Board of Canvassers certification meeting Nov. 17, Palmer initially voted “no” on the certification of the Nov. 3 presidential election results for Wayne County. 

The following day, Nov. 18, at approximately 7:46 a.m., Palmer reportedly received several threatening text messages from an unknown person that came from a phone number with a “269” area code. The complaint states the account was created 10 minutes prior to Palmer receiving the first message. 

The message read, “Damn it was not hard finding all of your information disgusting racist b****,” and “I don’t tolerate people like you, in fact I consider you to be a terrorist and do you know what happens to (a) terrorist, Monica?”

The messages included two graphic pictures of a bloody, deceased, nude body of a woman lying on the ground. A third photo of Palmer’s underage daughter was sent asking Palmer to imagine the same happening to her daughter. 

“F****** with our elections is TERRORISM, and us Americans clearly don’t tolerate terrorist so yes you should be afraid, your daughter should be afraid and so should (your) husband,” was the message Jones allegedly sent, according to the complaint. “You have made a grave mistake. I hope you realize that now.”

On Nov. 18, Palmer also reportedly received similar threats on her Instagram page. Through an investigation, law enforcement databases established the TextMe subscriber was Linda Jones in New Hampshire, which court documents state is Katelyn’s mother. According to the complaint, a search warrant on the Instagram account revealed a number of photographs of a woman, which revealed that Katelyn Jones was the user of the account. 

The complaint states that the FBI executed a search warrant at Linda Jones’ New Hampshire residence Dec. 22. According to court documents, Jones was arrested Dec. 23. She was advised of her rights by FBI agents, but she reportedly waived them. The court documents state she admitted to creating a TextMe account that utilized a telephone number with a “269” area code to send threatening messages to Palmer. 

Jones also admitted, as per court documents, as being the sole user of the Instagram account to post threatening messages. She said she made the threats because she was angry that Palmer “was interfering with the election,” as stated in the court documents. 

Jeffrey Levin, of the Federal Defender’s Office in Concord, New Hampshire, is representing Jones. She is scheduled Jan. 13, 2021, for a video conference at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, located at 231 W. Lafayette Blvd. in Detroit.

C & G Newspapers contacted Levin via email for comment on the case, which he declined.

“Thanks for being in touch,” Levin responded. “We have no comment.”

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers is responsible for canvassing the votes cast within the county. The board certifies elections for all local, countywide and district offices that are contained entirely within the county. 

As listed on the Wayne County website, www.waynecounty.com, the current members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers are Palmer; Jonathan C. Kinloch, vice-chairperson, Democrat; William Hartmann, member, Republican; and Allen Wilson, member, Democrat.

There was a lot of hostility at the board meeting Nov. 17 when Palmer and Hartmann, who are white, did not immediately certify the election for Detroit and were accused of racism by onlookers. In a Nov. 18 press release, Palmer said she was concerned about 70% of precincts not balancing in Wayne County, thus the delay.

“It was heartbreaking, in part because my intentions were to protect the Detroit vote. Our concern was in Detroit, Livonia, and other communities that had unexplained imbalances. It was also heartbreaking because I sat for two hours listening to people attack me. Certifying the votes has to do with making sure the precincts were balanced or explained. It had nothing to do with black or white,” Palmer said. “My ‘no’ vote on the certification was not taking votes away from anybody. I was allowing the state to find the correct information and explanations which did not happen.

“There was not mob rule, but there was a lot of pressure to certify,” Palmer said. “I made the decision ultimately because Jonathan Kinloch gave me an opportunity of the promise that an audit was supposedly going to occur.”