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No Indictment After Michigan Party Switch Probe

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(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)

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By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press

LANSING (AP) – A judge on Friday said she found no criminal wrongdoing after a yearlong investigation into a former state lawmaker’s party switch that also involved the Republican leader of the Michigan House.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, serving as a one-judge grand jury, said that an “exhaustive and diligent” probe uncovered no crime or wrongdoing and that an indictment was not warranted.

Ex-Rep. Roy Schmidt’s switch to the Republican Party in May 2012, just before the deadline for the August primary election, came under scrutiny after Democrats asked for an investigation. He offered money to Matt Mojzak, a 22-year-old political novice, to run as a Democrat against him.

Schmidt lost re-election in November after the scheme came to light.

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger barely survived the election because of his role in Schmidt’s switch to his party, but he was chosen again to lead the chamber in January.

Friday’s announcement cleared Bolger, Schmidt and various staffers who knew about the scheme.

Democrats wanted to know if Schmidt and Bolger knew Mojzak did not actually live in the district when he filed his candidacy. Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, and the Michigan Democratic Party alleged that Schmidt and Bolger may have conspired to aid perjury and obstructed justice.

In July 2012, following his own investigation, Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth announced that Bolger and Schmidt broke no laws but said their actions were a fraud on the public.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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