GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — Cleared of criminal conduct, a Grand Rapids politician whose party switch in 2012 led to a grand jury investigation wants to run for his old seat in the state House, saying voters will turn a cheek.
“Generally, people I found in this city, when you say you’re sorry, they forgive you,” Roy Schmidt said. “I loved serving the public for 20 years and it will always be in my heart and hopefully I’ll do it again.”
Schmidt was at the center of a strange political drama last year. The Democrat became a Republican near an election filing deadline and recruited a sham candidate to run against him before any credible Democrat could challenge him.
It blew up in his face. Winnie Brinks won the Democratic primary as a write-in candidate and then defeated Schmidt in November.
An Ingham County judge who served as a one-person grand jury investigated Schmidt, House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, and others before announcing Friday that no charges would be filed.
“This is total overkill,” Schmidt said of the investigation. “When this is all said and done this is going to be hundreds of thousands of dollars that taxpayers pay because someone in Grand Rapids believes in his heart he should be a Republican.”
He said a race against Brinks in 2014 is possible.
“I’ve got a lot more in me,” Schmidt told MLive.com.
Investigators discovered that Schmidt had his son offer money to a 22-year-old pal to run as a Democrat against him. Matt Mojzak turned down $1,000 and didn’t run.
“The way I did it was wrong. ... I misjudged it. I made a mistake and I shouldn’t have done it like that,” Schmidt said.