Senate leaders expect Smith to resign despite judge’s move

MI Senate

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Leaders in the Michigan Senate say they expect a senator to still resign from office despite a judge not accepting his resignation as a condition of a plea deal.

Democrat Virgil Smith on Monday was sentenced to 10 months in jail for malicious destruction of property in connection with a shooting incident involving his ex-wife. But Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon said requiring Smith’s resignation “offends the state constitution.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said Tuesday that Smith “will resign at some point.” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich says he “can’t see a scenario” where Smith doesn’t resign.

Meekhof says expulsion proceedings could be an option if necessary.

The Michigan Constitution says lawmakers are ineligible for office if convicted of a felony that breaches the “public trust.”

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