Single grand juror looking into Grand Rapids lawmaker's party switch

Published On: Aug 28 2012 07:53:32 PM EDT
LANSING, Mich. -

A Lansing judge has been appointed as a one-person grand jury to collect evidence and decide whether to charge anyone with crimes in a Grand Rapids lawmaker's last-minute switch to the Republican Party.

Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was chosen through a blind draw Tuesday after a majority of circuit court judges were in favor of a one-person grand jury. The request came from Democrats.

Aquilina will have the power to investigate and compel witnesses to testify about state Rep. Roy Schmidt's switch to the GOP in May, just before the deadline for the Aug. 7 primary election.

There's no dispute that Schmidt and Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall planned the switch. Schmidt recruited a 22-year-old political novice to run as a Democrat against him.

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