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Commander demoted after probe

November 6, 2012
By Jenny Lancour , Daily Press, Associated Press

GLADSTONE - The commander at the Michigan State Police Post in Gladstone has been demoted and transferred downstate following an internal investigation into a drunken driving charge against him.

Lt. William H. Smith, 43, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on July 7 after he crashed a personal vehicle in Chippewa County. The 93-day misdemeanor charge was later dismissed in Chippewa County District Court due to a technicality - the search warrant used to obtain further evidence, including a blood test, was invalid.

According to Daryl Vizina, Cheboygan County prosecutor assigned to represent the state in the case, dispatch directed police to obtain the search warrant from a former Chippewa County court employee that was no longer serving as magistrate.

The magistrate had been relieved of her duties due to mental health issues.

Because the former court employee was not legally authorized to sign and execute the search warrant, any information police obtained under the document during the investigation could not be considered as evidence, Vizina explained.

According to test results, Smith's blood alcohol content was .13 compared to the drunk driving standard of .08, Vizina told the Daily Press after the charge was dismissed on Aug. 29.

Fact Box

At a glance

Lt. William H. Smith, 43, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on July 7 after he crashed a personal vehicle in Chippewa County.

The 93-day misdemeanor charge was later dismissed in Chippewa County District Court due to a technicality - the search warrant used to obtain further evidence, including a blood test, was invalid.

Since Smith's arrest this summer, he was on paid leave pending the internal investigation, according to the public affairs department at the Michigan State Police Headquarters in Lansing.

Following completion of the investigation, Smith was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant and was transferred from the Gladstone Post to the Lansing Post. He was also suspended 15 days without pay.

Smith had served as commander at the Gladstone Post since April 1.

 
 

 

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