Ex-state lawmaker wins appeal over run for Detroit council
Aug. 22, 2017
DETROIT (AP) — 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.
In dissent, Judge Michael Riordan says the plea deal should have been set aside at the prosecutor's request after Wayne County Judge Lawrence Talon stripped some key conditions.
This story has been corrected to show decision was released Tuesday.