Speaker removes Jewell Jones from committee posts after new accusations
Besieged State representing Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, no longer sits on any legislative committee.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth R-Farwell leveled the sentence on Thursday, a day after Livingston County prosecutors say Jones tried to smuggle a handcuff key in jail after a judge revoked his bail and sent him to jail related to impaired driving and resistance to arrest charges.
“Representative. Jewell Jones’ increasingly disruptive and distracting behavior in the months following his arrest in April has eroded my confidence in his ability to lead people’s work. This behavior hit a new low yesterday when he was arrested. appears to have made a bizarre attempt to escape jail, which could result in two new charges. Steps must be taken to protect the public interest. I now remove Representative Jones from all House committees and l ‘encourages him to use this time to make changes and take control of his actions, ”said Wentworth.
“The Michigan House of Representatives will continue to ensure he has access to all the services and support we have to assist him on his journey. I sincerely hope that he finally takes advantage of these opportunities and gets the help he needs. The people he serves rely on him to do it.
Democratic House Leader Donna Lasinski of D-Scio Township did not say in a statement on Thursday whether she supported Wentworth’s move.
“Representative Jones faces a growing number of serious charges. Our priority is to provide him with the support he needs to meet these challenges and stay healthy. We are working to ensure that Representative Jones has a fair path to accountability so we can move forward together.
On Wednesday, she declined to say whether she thinks Jones should step down.
“These are serious accusations. It is important to let the investigation unfold and the judicial process to unfold so that all the facts can be revealed, ”Lasinski said in a statement.
Ali Hammoud, an attorney representing Jones, declined to comment on the president’s decision Thursday morning.
When asked on Wednesday whether Jones should step down, a spokesperson for Whitmer declined to comment.
Jones was arrested in April after allegedly driving drunk in a ditch on Interstate 96 near Fowlerville and failing to comply with Michigan State Police. He told the soldiers he was in control of their budget and threatened to call Governor Gretchen Whitmer as they tried to arrest him, according to police records.
Following this arrest, Jones is accused of repeatedly violating the terms of his bail. Police and prosecutors said he tested positive for alcohol earlier this month and tried to put a sock under his ankle monitor tape in an attempt to tamper with him.
Jones has already pleaded guilty to two other bail violations.
On Tuesday, a Livingston County judge ordered Jones sent to jail for the repeated violations. On the same day, officers reportedly found a universal handcuff key stuck to the bottom of Jones’ foot.
He was charged Wednesday with two other crimes.
“He realizes the seriousness of the allegations,” Byron Nolan, one of Jones’ attorneys, said during the felony indictment.
Jones is the fourth lawmaker to lose his commission positions due to a sanction in recent months, and the second this week.
On Tuesday, Wentworth stripped Rep. Steve Marino, of the Township of R-Harrison, of all committee duties. Representative Mari Manoogian, D-Birmingham, released a statement on social media on Wednesday accusing Marino of committing domestic violence. A Michigan State Police spokesperson confirmed the agency was investigating after receiving a complaint.
Marino did not respond to a Free Press message seeking comment.
Last year, Wentworth and former Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, temporarily removed a Democrat and a Republican.
Representative Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, was fired after posting a video about Trump supporters that executives and others saw as a threat. Representative Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Shores, was removed from his post after a radio interview where he suggested an affiliation with a group that planned to disrupt Electoral College procedures and could not rule out violence.
Contact Dave Boucher at [email protected] or 313-938-4591. Follow him on Twitter @ Dave_Boucher1.