LANSING (WWJ) – Embattled State Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) is back at work.
Smith — who represents Michigan’s fourth senate district, including portions of Downriver and Detroit — hadn’t been seen in public since an incident Mother’s Day weekend in which he allegedly shot up his ex-wife’s car.
“This is the first time in two weeks that he has shown up for work, given his difficulties with the law,” reported Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. “In his seat today, he will be voting — there is nothing illegal about that. And, as he plays out his legal problems, apparently he is going to be working at the same time.”
Skubick said another state senator, Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) stopped by Smith’s seat and shook his hand, but the pair did not speak because Smith was on the phone.
The 35-year-old Smith is charged with felonious assault, felony firearm, domestic violence assault and battery, and malicious destruction of personal property on accusations he fired as many as ten shots at ex-wife’s parked Mercedes-Benz during a domestic dispute early in the morning of Sunday, May 10, outside his Detroit home.
While Smith has not been asked to resign, the leader of the Michigan Senate has said he should give “serious consideration” to whether or not he can still serve his constituents.
In a statement out May 12, the day charges were filed against Smith, Republican Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof’s spokeswoman Amber McCann said the charges against Smith are “very serious.”
That same day, Smith was formally removed from his committees and been relieved of his caucus responsibilities.
Meantime, Smith’s official website has been wiped clean, except for a phone number, email address and a promise that his “office will continue to be open and available to assist constituents of the 4th Senate district.”
Smith was released on bond. He will be back in court for a preliminary on June 12 at 9 a.m. in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.