Michigan police: Office, home of state Sen. Johnson searched

AP News
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 3:50 PM
Michigan police: Office, home of state Sen. Johnson searched

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The office and home of a Detroit-area state senator were searched Monday morning as part of a joint investigation involving the FBI and state police.

Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said in an email that search warrants were served at Sen. Bert Johnson's Lansing office and his Highland Park home. Details of the nature of the investigation were not immediately released.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Johnson. The second-term Democrat represents the Senate's 2nd District, which includes Highland Park, Hamtramck, northeast Detroit, Harper Woods and the five Grosse Pointe communities.

The AP sent an email seeking FBI comment.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, a Flint Democrat, said in a statement: "I take this situation very seriously and I will be monitoring it closely."

In 2015, a legal dispute in an Illinois courtroom over an unpaid political fundraising bill to the Chicago-based Paladin Political Group led to the issue of a bench warrant for Johnson's arrest. He disputed the amount owed.

In 2012, Johnson lost a five-person Democratic congressional primary won by longtime Rep. John Conyers Jr. He became Conyers' campaign manager in 2014, after which Conyers won a court fight to be placed on the ballot after Michigan election officials said he was ineligible because of problems with his nominating petitions.

Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office, said Johnson owes $4,000 in fees for not filing three campaign-finance reports and submitting another one late.

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Associated Press writer David Runk in Detroit contributed to this report.