Former State Rep. to woman who threatened her: ‘I don’t accept the apology’

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Former State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) says she does not accept an apology letter written by an Ohio woman who entered a guilty plea for threatening Johnson in June 2022 in a racist voicemail.

Sandra Bachman, 61, of Batavia, OH was charged by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in March 2022 for sending threatening and racist voicemails to Johnson, and then-State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing).

On Wednesday, Bachman agreed to plead guilty to three crimes: “one count of Threat of Terrorism – Attempt, a 5-year felony, one count of Ethnic Intimidation, a 2-year misdemeanor, and one count of Malicious Use of Telecommunication Services, a 6-month misdemeanor,” a news release from the Office of Attorney General reported.

Sandra Bachman, 61 (Courtesy Ingham County Sheriff Department. WLNS)
Sandra Bachman, 61 (Courtesy Ingham County Sheriff Department. WLNS)

As part of the deal, Bachman was required to write an apology letter to Johnson.

Johnson agreed to the plea deal, she says but demanded the apology letter. She was not happy with what she received from the woman.

“The apology that she wrote said absolutely nothing,” Johnson tells 6 News. “It didn’t talk about what she did, why she did what she did. Of course, anybody can say ‘I’m sorry.’ I don’t accept the apology. At all and I’m very, very disappointed.”

Johnson shared Bachman’s letter with 6 News.

An apology letter written by Sandra Bachman to former Detroit area State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson. (Courtesy Cynthia A. Johnson. WLNS)
An apology letter written by Sandra Bachman to former Detroit area State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson. (Courtesy Cynthia A. Johnson. WLNS)

To Cynthia Johnson,

I am asking for forgiveness for the atrocious phone call I made to your office. Words cannot describe how horrible I feel about causing you anquish and fear. I am getting the mental health help I need and I am in recovery for alcoholism. I would never hurt anyone and I am not a threat. I am truly sorry. Bless you and your family and I pray you can forgive me.

May 4, 2024 letter to former State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson by Sandra Bachman

The threat from Bachman came after months of threats against Johnson following her grilling of former New York City Mayor Rudy Guilliani during an early Dec. 2020 hearing in the state legislature about election fraud claims.

One of the threats she received came from Michael Varrone of Charlotte. That threat was made on Dec. 12, 2020. On Jan. 7, 2021, Varrone called in a false bomb threat to the state Capitol building causing an evacuation. It was the day after supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. to protest the certification of the 2020 Presidential election results.

Varrone entered a guilty plea in July 2022. In exchange for pleading guilty to false report or threat of a bomb/harmful device, other charges — including those related to his threats against Johnson — were dismissed.

Johnson says the firestorm of threats and pressure has caused her to have PTSD.

“The audio that she did, the phone call,” Johnson says of Bachman. “It was bone-chilling. It was racist. It was threatening. It was terrifying.”

Bachman will face sentencing on June 26 by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk.

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