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Could drunk driving charges hinder a Plymouth Township politician?

A political candidate in Michigan knows firsthand the damaging effects that come with drunk driving charges, even when law enforcement has yet to substantiate those charges. A man running for Plymouth Township Trustee said he hopes news of his recent drunk driving charges will not affect the way that voters fill out their ballots during the area's primary election.

In a day and age where political mudslinging can get out of control, the candidate points out that an opposing politician brought his charges to light simply for political gain and not because he is truly a danger to fellow members of the community.

The Detroit Free Press recently released a police report that showed the candidate was arrested when he ran his car into a ditch back on March 18 around 3:45 a.m. The report was fed to the newspaper by a current trustee, which begs the question why the man would wait until just before the election to release this old, unproven information.

The current trustee said that the candidate has failed the public's trust. Still, without an actual conviction, those claims are simply a matter of opinion.

The candidate's arrest became public last month when the township's treasurer made a public comment on it at a Board of Trustees meeting.

The candidate maintains his innocence and expects to be acquitted of the charges once the truth comes out. Because of this, it is not fair that the people and politicians of Plymouth Township treat him as if he were guilty of the alleged crime. After all, only after prosecutors prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt can a conviction be secured.

Source: Plymouth-Canton Patch, "Plymouth Township Trustee Candidate: Drunken Driving Charge Shouldn't Affect Election," John McKay, Aug. 6, 2012

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