Advance Notice: Briefs

Rep. Jones stripped of committee assignments after 3rd bond violation

By: - September 16, 2021 3:13 pm

Rep. Jewell Jones | House Democrats photo

Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) stripped Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) of all committee assignments Thursday. 

That followed Jones attempting to sneak a handcuff key into jail on Tuesday after a judge sent him to jail for committing his third bond violation after initially being arrested for drunk driving and resisting arrest. 

Jones was arrested April 6 after driving into a ditch on Interstate 96 while being intoxicated. While resisting arrest, Jones reportedly told Michigan State Police that he would call Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and claimed he had control over their budget. 

State House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) | Ken Coleman photo

Jones had previously pleaded guilty to two bond violations before Tuesday’s third. Alcohol was found in his system earlier this month and was found to have been tampering with his ankle monitor. He also told the courts he would be going to a National Guard training when instead he was caught at a Planet Fitness and committee hearings. 

Wentworth stripped Jones of his assignments on three committees, including the Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security and Regulatory Reform committees. Wentworth said in a statement on Thursday that he stripped Jones of his committee assignments after months of Jones’ actions eroding Wentworth’s “confidence in his ability to conduct the people’s work.” 

“Action must be taken to protect the public’s interest,” Wentworth said. “I am now removing Rep. Jones from all House committees and encouraging him to use that time to make changes and take control of his actions.”

Wentworth went on to say the Michigan House will ensure Jones has access to services and support to correct his actions. 

“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 Twp.) echoed Wenworth’s sentiments. 

“Rep. Jones is facing an increasing number of serious charges,” Lasinski said. “Our priority is providing him with the support he needs to meet these challenges and stay healthy. We are focused on ensuring Rep. Jones has a fair pathway to accountability so we can move forward together.”

Jones has had other issues. Campaign finance reports published in July also revealed that Jones spent $221 of his campaign money at a strip club in Dearborn in March on a “constituent meeting.”

Jones was first elected to the Michigan House in 2016 at age 21, making him the youngest member ever elected to the chamber. 

Jones is the second state representative to be stripped of all House committees this week after Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Twp.) was removed from his committees on Tuesday for allegedly committing domestic violence against fellow Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham). 

Removing lawmakers from their committees is a disciplinary action that can be taken by legislative leadership, but it’s traditionally been used rarely. 

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Julia Forrest
Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.