Brian Klawiter, the Grandville business owner at the center of a firestorm of controversy because of his Facebook post that he would deny service to openly gay people, has not been a legally licensed mechanic in Michigan since Oct. 12, 2014.
Fred Woodhams, spokesman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, says the mechanic’s license expired in October and has not been renewed.
Pictures of the protests
Pictures of Protestors
Pictures of DieselTec Supporters
“Performing auto repair work as an unlicensed mechanic is a misdemeanor offense,” Woodhams tells Between The Lines by email.
The company, Dieseltec, does have a valid business license, Woodhams confirmed.
This is not the only licensing Klawiter failed to obtain from the government. MLive reports Klawiter still has not registered his business in Grandville, in violation of local ordinances.
Woodhams also said the original post by Klawiter might raise concerns. In that post, Klawiter threatened to reassemble the vehicles of customers who argued with him on gay rights “with all bolts and no nuts.” He has since claimed that statement was not a threat, but rather an allusion to gay sex.
“The department is concerned about any work done in an improper or unsafe way by a mechanic and will take licensing action as appropriate when it receives a complaint,” Woodhams says. “As we discussed, Mr. Klawiter is not a licensed mechanic.”
“Equality Michigan is concerned by any business which is not operating within the law,” Yvonne Siferd, director of victim of services at Equality Michigan, said of the new revelation. “Regardless of how Mr. Klawiter feels about our government and its LGBTQ citizens, he should not be working on people’s vehicles with an expired mechanic’s license. He does not have the right to pick and choose which laws he will follow. These licensing laws exist for the sake of public safety, and we believe it is telling that Mr. Klawiter does not seem to value these laws.”
Supporters of LGBT equality are protesting outside the facility in Grandville this afternoon. In response, Klawiter and his allies are holding a barbecue to celebrate “our guns, our God our freedoms.”
Klawiter, through supporters, refused to be interviewed for this story, claiming unfair treatment by the media.