Thursday, June 10, 2021

Mayoral candidate’s name removed from Westland ballot

               William Asper
Westland voters will have one less choice in the upcoming primary election for mayor as election commission officials have ordered the name of William Asper removed from the ballot based on his non-residency in the city.

Allegations regarding Asper's residency were raised by members of a Facebook group called Women Against William Asper for Mayor maintained by local resident Jessica Grevenstuk. The group shared screenshots of comments made on Asper's Facebook page in 2014 suggesting that a 7-year-old child belonged in special education classes and that the mother of the child could have intelligent offspring if he fathered them. Posts on the page also suggested that the child's good grades in school were based on her performing sexual favors for teachers. 

Asper, 37, who is currently on probation after being convicted of aggravated stalking, claims that entire charge was based on the complainant filing a false police report and that the inappropriate Facebook posts were not his, but that his account had been hacked. 

“He doesn't qualify for mayor; he doesn't live in Westland,” Grevenstuk said. “He lives in Canton, but owns about 18 properties in Westland that are all vacant, and that was the sticking point to getting him off of the ballot. He's been an Internet troll for over six years, but claimed he was hacked.”

During the election committee hearing, Westland City Clerk Richard LeBlanc stated that his office had received a voter registration request and Asper's application to seek office on Feb. 23, but when a voter card was mailed to the address Asper provided,  it was returned as “undeliverable - vacant.”  LeBlanc said his office then mailed a proof of the ballot that ensures names are correctly printed correctly to the same address. That correspondence was also returned as “undeliverable - vacant,” LeBlanc said.

The United States Postal Service also reportedly confirmed that it has a flag on the address as a vacant property. The office of the Westland assessor said that the building has had no certificate of occupancy since 2018 and the water department confirmed that the water has not been on at that address since last June. Asper had also stated in a recent court appearance that he resides at the Westland address  but that his mailing address is in Canton.

The clerk and city attorney determined that Asper is not eligible to be on the ballot and the commission members unanimously voted to remove his name from the ballot.