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Rep Jewell Jones is stripped of committee assignments

Jewell Jones.jpg

State Representative Jewell Jones lost his committee assignments Thursday as he serves jail time and faces a growing number of criminal charges.

Jones, a Democrat from Inkster, is in the Livingston County Jail for violating the terms of his bond by tampering with a court-ordered ankle alcohol monitoring device. Originally arrested for drunk driving and resisting a police officer, Jones is now also accused of trying to smuggle into the jail handcuff key taped to the bottom of his shoe.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Republican, said he’s lost confidence in the Inkster lawmaker’s ability to carry out his responsibilities:

“Rep. Jewell Jones’s increasingly disruptive and distracting behavior in the months following his April arrest has eroded my confidence in his ability to conduct the people’s work. That behavior hit a new low yesterday when he appears to have made a bizarre attempt to escape from jail, potentially resulting in two new charges. Action must be taken to protect the public's interest. 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.

“The Michigan House of Representatives will continue to make sure he has access to every service and every bit of support we have to help him on his journey. I sincerely hope he finally takes advantage of those opportunities and gets the help he needs. The people he serves are counting on him to do so.”

House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski concurred in the decision:

“Rep. Jones is facing an increasing number of serious charges. 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 serves on the House Regulatory Reform Committee and is the top-ranking Democrat on the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee. He is serving his third two-year term in the House and cannot seek another under Michigan’s term limits amendment.

Jones is the second House lawmaker to lose his committee assignments this week. Republican Representative Steve Marino of Macomb County was also stripped of his committee assignments as he investigated by the Michigan State Police for domestic abuse and threatening another lawmaker, Representative Mari Manoogian. She is a Democrat from Birmingham. Marino told The Detroit Free Press that he and Manoogian were in a relationship that ended but denied doing anything wrong. He called the allegations “politically motivated character assassination.”