WUOMFM

virgil smith

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A former state lawmaker who wants a seat on the Detroit City Council has a clear path to the ballot.

The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in the case of Virgil Smith. But nothing will happen before the Nov. 7 election.

Smith had agreed not to seek elective office for five years when he pleaded guilty to shooting at his ex-wife's car. But that part of the deal was thrown out by a Wayne County judge, who said it was unconstitutional.

Keeping his word

Aug 29, 2017
Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

More than two years ago, in one of state politics’ more sordid recent episodes, State Senator Virgil Smith Jr. was arrested after he shot up his ex-wife’s Mercedes.

According to prosecutors, the Detroit Democrat was “alcohol dependent” at the time, had asked his former wife to come over for an intimate encounter and then physically assaulted her before shooting up her car. It is unclear whether he was trying to shoot her too.

The Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills
Corey Seeman / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

After nearly 30 years, the Palace of Auburn Hills has announced that it will soon close its doors for good. Palace officials this week announced that Bob Seger's September 23rd concert will be the venue's final event. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about how businesses and the city of Auburn Hills itself will fare without revenue from the former home of the Detroit Pistons.

Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

Wayne County’s prosecutor has until Monday to appeal a court ruling that allows a former state lawmaker to run for the Detroit City Council.

Former Senator Virgil Smith promised not to run for anything for five years as part of a plea deal.

Smith pleaded guilty to shooting his ex-wife’s car. A judge threw out part of the plea deal that said Smith can’t run for anything while he’s on probation.

Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

The Michigan appeals court won't stop a former state lawmaker from seeking a seat on the Detroit City Council.

Virgil Smith had agreed not to seek elective office for five years when he pleaded guilty to shooting at his ex-wife's car. But that part of the deal was thrown out by a judge, who said it was unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, the appeals court says the judge made the right call. Judges Deborah Servitto and Michael Kelly say it would be "coercion" to allow prosecutors to try to negotiate a politician's future as part of a plea deal.

Can a politician who breaks the law be forced to quit his job and be ordered not to run again?

That question could interrupt the Michigan Supreme Court’s summer recess.

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A former camp counselor from suburban Detroit was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for taking nude photos of young boys and posting them online. The judge who sentenced 22-year-old Matthew Kuppe said he thought the sentence was too harsh, but Kuppe's plea deal left him with no choice. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry take a closer look at the case.

They also talk about former state Sen. Virgil Smith's possible bid for a Detroit Council seat, a lawsuit to force state Attorney General Bill Schuette's office to turn over personal emails that discuss public business, and a push to ban  7-day auto insurance plans in Michigan. 

Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

State Senator Virgil Smith has turned in his resignation and averted an expulsion drama. The Detroit Democrat turned in a one-sentence letter this afternoon (Thursday) quitting the seat.

 

If you are a Michigan Democrat, I’ve got good news. If Virgil Smith Jr. is as good as his word, there soon won’t be any Democratic state senators in jail.

That’s because Smith, according to his lawyer, has promised to resign by tomorrow. This comes nearly a year after the senator stood naked on a crowded residential street, firing shot after shot into his ex-wife’s Mercedes, wrecking the car but not killing her.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry talks about Republican pushback on the State Board of Education's new LGBT guidelines, an alleged bribery and kickback scheme now plaguing Detroit's struggling school district, and State Sen. Virgil Smith's jail sentence.  


Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit State Senator Virgil Smith started a ten-month jail sentence Monday, as part of a plea deal he struck after violent domestic dispute with his ex-wife.

The democratic lawmaker pleaded guilty to one count of malicious destruction of property, for shooting up his ex-wife’s car. He had initially faced four counts, including a firearms charge that carried a mandatory prison sentence.

But Smith is still a state legislator, and Wayne County prosecutors are now unhappy with that deal.

A Wayne County judge sentenced Detroit state Senator Virgil Smith to ten months in jail Monday – but the court saga isn’t over just yet.

Smith had initially been charged with several felonies, after a violent domestic dispute with his ex-wife in May 2015.

But Smith cut a plea deal with prosecutors. He ended up pleading guilty to just one count, malicious destruction of property, for shooting up his ex-wife’s Mercedes.

The news these days is full of examples of where our systems have failed, sometimes disastrously, as in Flint. We have had incompetence and corruption at virtually every level. We should be seeing bumper stickers which say, “if you’re not a cynic, you aren’t paying attention.”

But there are occasional stories of officials striving to do a good job, and there was one last week you may have missed.

State Senator offers to resign seat as part of plea bargain

Feb 11, 2016
Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

Detroit Democrat Virgil Smith has offered to step down from his state Senate seat as part of a plea deal that also dismisses some charges connected to a shooting incident involving his ex-wife.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon has yet to accept the plea and scheduled a March 14 hearing to decide if the agreement is was tough enough.

As part of the plea, Smith would serve 10 months in the county jail and five years probation for malicious destruction of property. Felonious assault, using a firearm during a felony, and domestic violence charges would be dismissed.

Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

It took 15 hours and plenty of drama last Friday before Todd Courser resigned and Cindy Gamrat was expelled from the state House.

Republican House leaders basically kept everyone at their seats and went through vote after vote before getting the two Tea Partiers out of the House.

Well, this is the day everyone in Lansing has been waiting for. Unfortunately, if you think I’m talking about fixing the roads, you’re wrong.

No, this is the day the Michigan House of Representatives is due to release its report on the Todd Courser-Cindy Gamrat scandal. We already know they found evidence of misconduct and misuse of taxpayer resources.

School Bus
Nicolae Gerasim / Flickr

This Week in Michigan PoliticsJack Lessenberry explains what happens to the political career of a State Senator facing assault and gun charges, Governor Snyder taking over the state's worst performing schools, and why Metro Detroit is one of the few urban areas in the country without a mass transit system

Jake Neher / MPRN

  State Senator Virgil Smith faces felony assault and gun charges in connection with a shooting incident this past weekend. Smith is accused of hitting his ex-wife and shooting at her car.

Smith was arraigned today and did not show up for the state Senate’s session.

When I was in junior high school my class was taken to Lansing, to see the state capital. I was blown away with awe -- the Capitol Dome, the stately Senate and House chambers, the display of Civil War battle flags.

Ex-state Senator Virgil Smith, Jr.
senatedems.com

State Senator Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, has been arrested in connection with a shooting incident outside his home over the weekend.

The Detroit Police Department is expected to request a warrant on charges of aggravated assault and malicious destruction of property. The assault charge is a felony.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's police chief says that someone fired a shotgun at a car parked outside the home of state Sen. Virgil Smith.

Chief James Craig tells The Detroit News that no one was hurt in the shooting, which happened about 1 a.m. Sunday next to Smith's home on Detroit's north side.