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Sen. Virgil Smith arraigned, removed from committees

Jake Neher

  State Senator Virgil Smith faces felony assault and gun charges in connection with a shooting incident this past weekend. Smith is accused of hitting his ex-wife and shooting at her car.

Smith was arraigned today and did not show up for the state Senate’s session.

“We would hope that Senator Smith can speak with his colleagues, speak with his leadership, and come to a reasonable conclusion as to whether or not it would still be in the best interests of his district for him to still be serving as senator,” said Amber McCann, the spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhoff.

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich has taken away Smith’s committee assignments and stripped him of other official responsibilities. 

“The charges are very severe, and I think it’s important for Senator Smith to focus on the criminal charges levied against him, and it’s important for us her  in Lansing to focus in the work that needs to be done.”

The state Senate majority leader also says Smith should consider resigning if he’s no longer able to represent his constituents.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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