LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) - There is probable cause to investigate charges of perjury and conspiracy in the Roy Schmidt case, said Democratic leaders in Lansing.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer made an official request to have a one-person grand jury appointed in Ingham County to look further into the matter.
Schmidt, who switched from the Democrats to the Republicans and recruited a fake Democrat to run against him in the 76th District, has been under fire since the filing-deadline maneuver in May.
Kent County prosecutor Bill Forsyth said Schmidt perpetrated a "fraud" on the electorate, but broke no laws in his party switch.
But Whitmer and Brewer said Forsyth's investigation did not go far enough, and want the investigation to center on criminal violations and not election law violations.
Forsyth told 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday he did look at criminal law and ultimately concluded he didn't have a case that would stick. He added he could have waited for more information to surface but was convinced he had what he needed -- and he felt it was important to let the voters in the 76th District find out before the primary.
Schmidt won the Republican primary despite a strong write-in showing from Bing Goei.
Forsyth said if he had kept the investigation open, the same people chiding him for closing it when he did would be demanding a conclusion now.
In the end, he said, he believes this is more about politics than concern over criminal wrongdoing.
For Whitmer and Brewer, though, it remains fertile fodder in an electrified election year.
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