LIVINGSTON COUNTY, MI – Democratic state Rep. Jewell Jones was taken into custody on September 14th after a judge revoked his bond for Rep. Jones allegedly violating the terms of his bond multiple times in a pending DUI case.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 15, 2021
One of the easiest ways to stay out of jail while on bond and a court case works through the system is for one to abide by the terms laid out for their release on bond, and apparently Michigan state Rep. Jones could not do that.
Reportedly 26-year-old Rep. Jones had violated the terms of his bond three times, and Livingston County Circuit Judge Michael Hatty decided that was the last straw.
Rep. Jones was arrested earlier in 2021 on April 6th after his Chevy Tahoe weaved in and out of lanes on Interstate 96 and he reportedly pulled off into a ditch. Michigan State Police reports regarding his arrest noted that his blood alcohol content (BAC) registered at 0.19 at the time of his arrest – over twice the legal limit of 0.08.
And apparently his arrest did not go swimmingly either, as Rep. Jones allegedly tried invoking a power play when police were taking him into custody in April. He allegedly told arresting officers that this was “not going to be good for you” and that he would “call Governor Whitmer right now.”
Rep. Jones apparently resisted arrest during the incident, where police had to both tase and pepper spray him in order for him to comply.
It gets worse before it gets better, as Rep. Jones continued to invoke Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s name during his arrest and booking process, according to reports. While inside of the jail, with bodycam footage showing the interaction, he kept insisting that officers needed to call Governor Whitmer, calling saying “big Gretch is the homie”:
“You know what? Big Gretch is the homie. When she finds out about this, she might be a little upset about the treatment. She’s very serious about the pandemic so I’m just wondering if I can wear the mask.”
This interaction inside of the jail came when jail deputies were trying to take his booking photo and he was insisting that he needed to have a face covering on when having his booking photo taken.
Rep. Jones proclaimed that Governor Whitmer said that face coverings needed to be worn in jail booking photos – which a deputy informed him that was not the case at all.
Outside of the ridiculous behavior during Rep. Jones’ arrest and booking into jail, apparently, he couldn’t keep himself from drinking alcohol while out on bond – which was one of the conditions of his bail.
Rep. Jones reportedly had alcohol register in his system on three different times on September 3rd, which was registered by a tether he was fitted with. On top of that, the tether Rep. Jones was fitted with was also allegedly tampered with on September 6th.
During a September 14th court appearance over Rep. Jones alleged bond violations, assistant prosecutor Christina Richards had the following to say about the mater:
“This defendant’s actions — from his conduct during the charged crimes through each of the three bond violations — show that he believes that, as a person who writes our laws, that he is above our laws. There is also a very strong public perception that the defendant is getting special treatment because of his position.”
Judge Hatty, who noted his partiality to keeping suspects out on bond was apparently persuaded by the assistant prosecutor, ordering Rep. Jones to be jailed during the hearing:
“I am one to believe in graduated sanctions and not jailing this man until sentencing, but I am going to revoke bond at this time.”
And the saga gets worse from there, as when Rep. Jones was brought into jail – he allegedly tried sneaking a handcuff key into the jail. Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy spoke about the incident, saying the following:
“You know what? This guy is an embarrassment to elected officials, frankly. I mean, all these are allegations, there’s no question he’s not been convicted of anything – but, you know, c’mon – there’s not this much smoke around anybody else. And I truly believe he thinks the rules don’t apply to him.”
The Michigan lawmaker was allegedly found with a universal handcuff key taped to the bottom of his foot while being booked into the jail following the revocation of his bond.
Rep. Jones has since been charged with two additional felonies on September 15th, which were introducing a weapon into a jail and escape.
As if Rep. Jones wasn’t already facing some time with the alleged DUI incident, he could face up to five years for one of the new felony charges and four years for the other.
During Rep. Jones September 15th arraignment under his two newest charges, he entered a plea of not guilty and bond was set for $100,000 for the latest charges – but the bond from his previous charges still remains revoked.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carolyn Henry said during the September 15th hearing that Rep. Jones shows a “total disregard for public safety”:
“Clearly this defendant has shown through his actions, through his decisions, through his choices, he has a total disregard to follow court orders, to conform his behaviors to the law, and he has a total disregard for public safety.”
Sheriff Murphy stressed in a statement the dangers associated with introducing a handcuff key into the jail:
“This guy is a real piece of work, and an embarrassment to all elected officials, and I believe he thinks somehow the laws do not apply to him. More than that, I am mad. Had the handcuff key ended in an injury to my staff or another inmate I am not sure what I would have done, as my primary responsibility is the safety and security of my staff and inmates.”
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Democratic Senate candidate – a ‘minister’ – charged with four felonies for embezzlement and fraud
(Originally published September 8th, 2021)
MILWAUKEE, WI – A member of the Milwaukee City Council who is also running as a Democratic candidate for the Senate was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor earlier in September related to embezzlement and fraud regarding campaign finances.
The charges could see the Senate candidate sentenced to over 10 years in prison and thousands in fines, if convicted.
#Politics #TopStories Chantia Lewis, Democratic Milwaukee Alderman, Charged With Fraud, Theft: On Tuesday, Milwaukee City Council’s member, a minister, and a US Senate Democratic Candidate, Chantia Lewis, was charged with 4 felonies and 1 misdemeanor.… https://t.co/wl8Mq0W9lJ
— The Union Journal (@theunionjournal) September 8, 2021
On September 7th, 41-year-old Chantia Lewis, who is not only a Senate candidate and Milwaukee City Council member – but also a minister, was charged with misconduct in office, intentionally filing a false campaign report, embezzlement of more than $10,000, intentionally making an unlawful distribution from her campaign finance account, and misdemeanor fraud.
Lewis, who was elected to the Milwaukee City Council back in 2016, announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate this past July – however, no spokesperson or Lewis herself have commented on whether these charges will impact her decision to run for Senate moving forward.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Lewis, it’s alleged that she falsely filed campaign finance reports regarding her campaigns for the Milwaukee City Council. Lewis allegedly would deposit campaign funds into her personal bank accounts and use said funds for various personal expenses.
Lewis also allegedly falsely represented to the City of Milwaukee that she was owed travel reimbursement while conducting business related to her role on the council, however, Lewis allegedly paid for those expenses out of her campaign account.
The city council member also allegedly structured a campaign contribution system so as to avoid campaign contribution limits, according to the criminal complaint. Overall, the criminal complaints claims that Lewis defrauded both the city and her campaign for at least $21,666.
Emil Ovbiagele, an attorney representing Lewis, claims that she did nothing illegal and that these discrepancies regarding spending and campaign finances are mere “accounting errors.”
A statement released by Lewis also addressed the charges, noting the following:
“As a first-time candidate in 2016, and like many first-time grassroots candidates, I self-funded much of my campaign. My campaign was run by my family and a team of amazing supporters.”
“We did our very best to run a positive and compliant campaign. I am confident, that once this is over, I will be absolved.”
Three of the felony charges, which are the misconduct, false campaign report, and unlawful distribution of campaign funds, each carry a 3-and-a-half prison sentence if convicted as well as up to a $10,000 fine. As for the embezzlement charge, Lewis could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000 if convicted.
The misdemeanor fraud charge only carries up to 9 months in jail, but also comes with a hefty fine of up to $10,000.
Lewis is scheduled to appear in court on September 29th.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt
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