Skubick: Former House Speaker admits alcoholism

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – In a disclosure that might shock some citizens, a former Republican Speaker of the Michigan House confesses he was often drunk when he made decisions affecting the state’s future.

Now a reformed alcoholic, Craig DeRoche is telling his story in a new book.

“My drinking started at 10 and by 14 it was daily,” said Craig DeRoche, former Republican speaker of the Michigan House.

The night Republican lawmaker Craig DeRoche was elected Speaker, he was drinking and it never stopped during his Tenure in the House.

He outlines in his book that despite that he was always successful. He graduated early from college, launched a successful business, served on the Novi City Council and ascended to the highest leadership post in the Michigan House, and nobody had a clue.

“I had problems, issues in my life that drinking was a solution to,” explains DeRoche. “I had been able to be successful, whether it be business or getting married, other life events, getting through college. But I was able to do both at the same time. When I was elected speaker the two were not compatible. It was coming to a head, not publicly but certainly in my own life.”

He pulled it off by lying to everyone including his wife. “So even with my wife, it was a routine dishonesty about the level of my drinking and what my day looked like.”

When asked if he made decisions while under the influence the former GOP House Speaker said “I’m sure that I did.”

Mr. DeRoche reveals he drank to deal with the “fear, stress and anxiety” of running the Michigan House and when he ran for Speaker he knew he had this disease.

So was it irresponsible to run for the jobs? He’ll leave that to others to decide.

But, he said God played a role in all of this.

“God put me on this path and without those experiences, I wouldn’t have had the transformation that I had, DeRoche explains. “I wouldn’t have been able to help other people today.”

His world came crashing down the night he was arrested for drunk driving, a story that made national headlines.

Then he hit the wall when his wife wanted a divorce. He lost all his business deals and a clinic in Brighton launched him on a path to recovery where he remains today, again because of God.

“God wastes nothing,” said DeRoche.

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