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Tue August 28, 2012
Judge Will Lead Inquiry in Schmidt-Bolger Case
A one-judge grand jury will look into whether there was any illegal activity involved in the party-switching plot between state Representative Roy Schmidt and state House Speaker Jase Bolger.
A majority of judges on the Ingham County circuit court determined there is probable cause to go forward with a criminal investigation. Judge Rosemary Aqualina was selected by a blind draw to lead the inquiry.
Schmidt and Bolger plotted the Grand Rapids lawmaker’s switch to the Republican Party, and recruited a fake Democrat to appear on the ballot so Schmidt would avoid a reelection fight.
The Kent County prosecutor has already determined no laws were broken, although he called the episode shameful and forwarded the case to the Secretary of State to investigate possible campaign finance violations.
Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer and state Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer called for the grand jury because the State Police investigation was halted before all the subpoenas were served.