Lawmaker Fined For Violating Bond A Second Time
July 24, 2021
By Jon King / email@example.com
A state lawmaker arrested near Fowlerville for drunken driving and other charges earlier this year was back in court Friday after violating his bond a second time.
A hearing was held for Democratic State Representative Jewell Jones of Inkster on an emergency motion to revoke his bond filed last week by the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office.
Officials say Jones failed to pay the invoice for his ankle alcohol monitor. Testimony from an employee of the probation department indicated that Jones was sent a text message on four occasions between July 6th and the 14th reminding him that his payment was due. On July 7th, Jones texted back and stated, “No worries. I see the email. Thank you! I don’t get a discount???” But he still did not make the payment on time.
Assistant Prosecutor Christina Richards asked Judge Michael Hatty to revoke the bond, saying it was the second time he was in violation.
“Rather than paying it by the close of business, he made a text message that the people can only guess was meant as a joke, asking for a discount," stated Richards. "The only discounts I am aware of are for indigency and I cannot imagine that a State Representative can qualify for that, so I have no choice but to believe it’s a joke. And he did in fact fail to pay and he’s in violation of his bond for the second time, so I’m asking the court to find him in violation and revoke his bond.”
Jones' attorney Ali Hammoud countered that his client had been busy dealing with flooding in his district and once he realized he was late, made an immediate payment and then enrolled in autopay.
“On July 14th, he did make a payment and it was late. It was four or five hours late, but he did make a payment and he did enroll in the autopay, said Hammoud. "It was a rough week for him. There was a flood, he was helping out at the church. He had some activities. There was no way for him to know that the tether was shut off. It wasn’t until he got home is when he looked at the screen and it said it's in storage and he assumed something was wrong. That's when he made the payment and he set himself up for autopay. He immediately went and got the device reactivated the next morning.”
Judge Hatty ruled that while Jones hadn’t violated the spirit of the order to refrain from alcohol, he was in technical violation.
“I don’t see that there was a use of alcohol," said Hatty. "There was a disrespect to the court’s orders and we’ve got to have compliance with the orders, otherwise getting compliance is more difficult every time being able to stretch duties in order to get people to comply with the court orders simply breaks down the system and that’s not what I’m looking for.”
He then fined Jones $1,000 and said if there were any more violations, he would revoke his bond immediately. "I expect that if there’s any other violation, you’re going to be looking at jail. It's as simple as that. I can’t have these orders not followed to the t. Put together, you cost a lot of people time and trouble to have the orders complied with and for that, I think a fine is appropriate. Further violation is going to result in jail. Do you understand?”
Jones is out on bond as he awaits trial on charges filed after his April 6th arrest when authorities say he drove his vehicle into a ditch on I-96 and then resisted responding officers. He was subsequently charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer, reckless driving, possession of a weapon while under the influence of alcohol, and operating a motor vehicle with high blood alcohol content. A pre-trial hearing is set for August 20th on the charges.
This is the second request to revoke Jones’ bond. Last month, he pleaded guilty to violating his bond by skipping out on military training, which he said would have prevented him from undergoing court-ordered drug and alcohol testing.
When he entered the plea to violating bond, Jones was ordered to wear the SCRAM monitor and to submit to twice-monthly random drug testing.
Photo Attorney Ali Hammoud with State Rep. Jewell Jones.