89.1 WEMU

Michigan State Senator Leaves Office For Good

Apr 1, 2016

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

State Senator Virgil Smith has submitted his resignation from the Legislature as he begins a 10-month jail sentence


The second-term Detroit Democrat pleaded guilty in February to shooting up his wife’s car as part of an agreement with the Wayne County prosecutor.  But the judge rejected part of the plea deal that required Smith to resign his state Senate seat.  That set the stage for a fight over the Senate voting to remove Smith from office – a controversy averted by the resignation.

“That took a little longer than expected, but this was the resolution the majority leader expected in the end, and he’s glad to see that Senator Smith delivered that to put this issue to rest,” said Amber McCann, the spokeswoman for the Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive).  “He was convicted and pled guilty to a crime, and he is now serving jail time.  The most appropriate action was voluntary resignation.” 

Smith will continue to collect his salary until the resignation becomes official when the Legislature returns from its spring break on April 12th.  Then, it will be up to Governor Rick Snyder to set special election dates to fill the vacancy. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org