Speaker removes Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones from House committee assignments after ‘bizarre attempt to escape from jail’

‘Action must be taken to protect the public’s best interest’

After reportedly attempting to smuggle a handcuff key into jail, Rep. Jewell Jones was removed from all Michigan House committee assignments Thursday morning.

HOWELL, Mich.After the Livingston County Sheriff said he tried to smuggle a handcuff key into jail, Michigan State Rep. Jewell Jones was removed from all Michigan House committee assignments.

Jones was on the Military, Veterans and Homeland Security and Regulatory Reform committees. His removal from the positions was announced Thursday morning by Michigan Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth.

Wentworth released the following statement:

Jones is facing drunk driving criminal charges in a widely publicized arrest on I-96 that occurred in April. He was sent to jail Tuesday after he was accused of violating his bond a third time. Authorities said Jones drank alcohol and had tamped with his tether.

Jones is facing two more charges after the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office said they found a handcuff key with him as he was being admitted to the Livingston County Jail. He was arraigned on two new charges Wednesday afternoon -- a four-year felony and a five-year felony alleging he brought a weapon, in this case a key, into jail in an effort to escape custody. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by his attorney. Bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety.

Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy called Jones “an embarrassment to all elected officials” in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“This guy is a real piece of work, and an embarrassment to all elected officials, and I believe he thinks somehow the laws do not apply to him,” reads the Sheriff’s statement. “More than that, I am mad. Had the handcuff key ended in an injury to my staff or another inmate I am not sure what I would have done, as my primary responsibility is the safety and security of my staff and inmates.”

Jones, 26, was elected to represent Michigan’s 11th state house district in 2016, then again in 2018 and 2020. His district represents Inkster and parts of Garden City, Westland, Livonia and Dearborn Heights.

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About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.