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Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble admits to misconduct in the courthouse

Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble is facing a recall effort as residents seek to remove the embattled prosecutor from office. (WWMT/File)

Editor's Note: This article contains language that might be considered unsuitable for underage audiences.

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A West Michigan prosecutor has admitted to intimidation, sexual harassment and more troubling misconduct while serving as an officer of the court -- and will leave office.

Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble will officially step down Jan. 1, 2019. His law license will be suspended as well, as part of a deal with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

In documents filed with the state's attorney disciplinary board, Kimble admits to six of the eight counts filed in the formal complaint against him. The prosecuting attorney's admissions include threatening, fat shaming, and sexually harassing staff, mostly women, at the Branch County Courthouse.

According to the documents, Kimble admitted to talking about the size of his penis to court employees on multiple occasions.

Kimble was first elected to the prosecutor's office in 2012 and ran unopposed to reclaim his position in 2016.

Newschannel 3’s I-Team first uncovered the allegations of misconduct made by several current and former employees more than a year ago.

Kimble’s license to practice law will be suspended for six months, according to the agreement with the state’s attorney disciplinary board.

“No comment" is the response Newschannel 3 got from Kimble's office Friday before the call disconnected.

State law establishes that a new prosecutor will be appointed by a Branch County judge.

Kimble has signed the deal to resign at the first of the year but the agreement still needs approval from the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.


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