72-Year-Old Man Charged With Threatening Secretary Of State Over Political Views

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Photo credit © Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal

GROVELAND TWP. (WWJ) - A 72-year-old Oakland County man has been charged in connection with making multiple threats against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.Neil Bruce Billington, of Groveland Township, was arraigned Saturday morning on one count of malicious use of telecommunication device, a misdemeanor charge that carries a penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Billington was given a personal recognizance bond of $25,000. 

Michigan State Police say their investigation began Wednesday after being notified that Benson was being threatened

"The individual had both contacted the secretary by voicemail and spoke with somebody in her office, and made some threats due to some of her political thought process, I guess is the best way to put it," Lt. Mike Shaw told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "He just was upset with her political stances."

Troopers identified Billington as the suspect and executed a search warrant at his home, during which he was taken into custody without incident. Weapons were also seized during the search.

Further court proceedings are pending.