LANSING (WWJ) He’s accused of sending a Republican into the Democratic primary in Grand Rapids — disguised as a Democrat — and now Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger could be facing charges.
A Lansing judge has been appointed as a one-person grand jury to investigate allegations of election fraud against Bolger and the state representative candidate, Roy Schmidt, R-Grand Rapids, who switched parties at his alleged urging.
Schmidt jumped from Democrat to Republican May 15, just before the filing deadline for the Aug. 7 primary in the highly Republican district. Democrats called for an investigation into the move, which Bolger called a “wild goose chase.”
Bolger and Schmidt allegedly recruited Matt Mojzak, a Schmidt family friend, to serve as a straw Democratic opponent by filing for election even though he doesn’t live in the district.
“They admit that they did try to rig an election, but they say they have done nothing criminally wrong,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “The Democrats aren’t so sure, they belive there are unanswered questions. Obviously the Ingham County jurist decided ‘Yes, there are questions that need answers.’”
Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, former military leader and former aid to a Democratic state senator, is conducting a grand jury probe into the situation. Democratic party leaders claim state police were about to investigate a series of text messages in the case before deciding against it.
“While it’s a sad day in our state’s history that this step would have to be taken, I am thankful that the court’s decision will result in a full, fair and impartial investigation into this matter,” Bolger said in a press release. “That’s all I’ve ever asked for and it’s what the public deserves.”