State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, was removed from his committee assignments Thursday after a series of unlawful activities, including bringing a functional handcuff key into a three-day jail stint, that resulted in several felony charges.
Jones was first arrested in April on suspicions of drunk driving. During the arrest, Jones said, “I’ll call Gov. Whitmer right now” and indicated his status as a state representative.
Jones was released on bond, with the condition that he wear an ankle tether that would monitor his alcohol consumption.
Jones failed one of these tests on Sept. 3. Jones’s bond was revoked early this week and he was placed in jail for three days. It is during this time that Jones allegedly was found with a handcuff key under his foot, according to Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy.
Jones was arraigned on Wednesday on additional charges of attempting to escape custody and bringing a weapon into county jail. Both are felonies that could result in five- and four-year sentences, respectively.
Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, issued a statement on Jones’s removal.
“Rep. Jewell Jones’s increasingly disruptive and distracting behavior in the months following his April arrest has eroded my confidence in his ability to conduct the people’s work,” he wrote. “That behavior hit a new low yesterday when he appears to have made a bizarre attempt to escape from jail, potentially resulting in two new charges.”
“Action must be taken to protect the public’s interest,” he continued, stripping Jones of his committee assignments.
Wentworth also said the House of Representatives will assure Jones has access to every service and bit of support available.
“I sincerely hope he finally takes advantage of those opportunities and gets the help he needs,” Wentworth said. “The people he serves are counting on him to do so.”
House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, also issued a statement.
"Rep. Jones is facing an increasing number of serious charges. Our priority is providing him with the support he needs to meet these challenges and stay healthy."
She continued, "We are focused on ensuring Rep. Jones has a fair pathway to accountability to we can move forward together."
Jones’s removal comes just one day after the removal of Rep. Steve Marino, R-Harrison Township, for domestic abuse allegations levied by Rep. Mari Manoogian, D-Birmingham.
This story was updated to include a statement from House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski.
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