Vailliencourt says Reader’s Facebook post on terrorist tweet gets it all wrong

In a dramatically Photoshopped Facebook post, former Livingston County Judge David Reader took aim at Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt — the man he is hoping to beat in the Aug. 4 Republican primary — saying “Vailliencourt refuses to charge for terrorist threats” the woman who tweeted that “the first city to burn in Michigan should be Howell.

The problem is that Reader’s post isn’t true.

“It’s false,” Vailliencourt said. “No decision has been made yet.”

Vailliencourt explained that he returned the case to the Howell Police Department for further investigation, and that the investigation hasn’t been completed. And until it is, Vailliencourt can’t move forward,

“(The post is) just not true,” Vailliencourt said.

When asked about the post, Reader said that if it “helps speed up (Vailliencourt’s) decision, then so be it.”

Reader said in the same Facebook post that “downtown Howell businesses boarded up windows, and county offices were closed for the day due to threats of violence. Fear was felt by many people of our community because of a social media threat.”

The reason downtown Howell businesses and county offices in the downtown area closed for the day was not because of the tweet; the closures came because of rumors of outside agitators coming to town to disrupt an event planned to show support for Black Lives Matter, and in response to the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police office knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The closings came at the request of the City of Howell and the Howell Police Department. You can read about that by clicking here.

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Journalist Maria Stuart worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. These days, she runs The Livingston Post.