Bench warrant issued for state Sen. Bert Johnson


DETROIT – A bench warrant has been issued for state Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Highland Park) after he failed to show up in an Illinois courtroom.

Johnson's troubles come on the heels of criminal charges filed against state Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) after a domestic incident in which Smith allegedly shot at his ex-wife's car with a shotgun.

A Chicago-based Paladian Political Consulting, which previously worked for Johnson, sued him over a $22,000 debt. The court ruled in their favor.

Johnson said he had no idea he was supposed to be in an Illinois courtroom, that he had been held in contempt of court, or that a bench warrant and $25,000 bond had been issued. He referred the matter to his attorney Amir Makled.

"We're familiar with the case that arose out of Cook County," Makled said. "It's a matter that we tried late last year and got a jury verdict but the pos-judgement proceedings, we have not been served with."

That's not true according to the attorney representing Paladian. Christopher Hales said Johnson was served by Wayne County deputies and that all correspondence has been done via registered mail.  

Makled said he's going to contact the court and attempt to get Johnson's warrant revoked.

"First thing we need to do is find out what the status of the warrant is, is it in the system," Makled said. "If it is, we need to contact the court and indicate to them that Mr. Johnson will comply with any of these issues."

Johnson has served in the state Senate since 2010.

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