89.1 WEMU

Convicted State Senator Faces Expulsion From Lansing Chamber

Mar 15, 2016

Michigan Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit)
Credit Courtesy Photo / senatedems.com

The state Senate could expel Senator Virgil Smith if he does not resign. 

Smith was sentenced Monday to ten months in jail and five years probation for assaulting his ex-wife and shooting her car.  The judge in the case said he could not force Smith to resign from office - even though Smith agreed to step down as part of his plea agreement.  Amber McCann is a spokesperson for state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.  She says they still expect Smith to resign.

“If the senator does change his mind - if he is serving an extended period of time in jail, it would make it very difficult for him to also serve his constituents – and, so, I think we would have to at that point consider expulsion.”


McCann says it’s too early to say when or how the Senate would proceed with expulsion hearings if they choose to take that route. 

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org