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State Briefs

By the Associated Press • Dec 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Lawsuit questions long wait before election for Conyers seat

DETROIT (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed challenging the 11-month gap between U.S. Rep. John Conyers' resignation and a special election.

Michael Gilmore claims the delay is unconstitutional. He filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court on behalf of five voters in the 13th District.

Gilmore is also a Democratic candidate who would like to win the seat.

Conyers, a Detroit Democrat, suddenly quit Dec. 5. He cited health reasons, but the 88-year-old was also dogged by sexual harassment allegations.

Gov. Rick Snyder set the election for Nov. 6, 2018. The winner would serve until January 2019.

There will be a separate race on the ballot for a regular two-year term. Snyder said holding the special election on the day of the regular election will save money.

Michigan man walks 6,000-mile trail across Europe

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — A Michigan man relied on a simple mode of transportation while traveling through 14 European countries: his feet.

Chris Lemanski, 26, recently finished hiking about 6,000 miles along the E3 path, which spans from Turkey to Portugal. The Traverse City man made the trek solo, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

Lemanski called his hike a "trial by error," saying he often planned as he walked. He said an average day involved walking about 25 miles and finding a place to eat and sleep. He often pitched his tent, and he said many locals let him stay in their backyards and barns.

"They were excited to meet a foreigner," he said. "People responded very well most of the time."

Lemanski said he was going through depression when he decided to make the trek starting in April 2016, after his cousin suggested he take a walk to clear his mind. The walk turned into an 18-month trek.

His parents said they were initially hesitant of their son's plans but are proud of his accomplishment.

Appeals court freezes order on driver's license suspensions

DETROIT (AP) — A court order that stopped suspensions of some Michigan driver's licenses has been frozen, at least temporarily.

A federal judge halted suspensions if people can't afford to pay traffic fines. But a federal appeals court ordered a 30-day timeout Thursday.

The court told Judge Linda Parker to give guidance to the secretary of state about how Michigan is supposed to comply. The court says her injunction is "broad in scope and provides very little direction."

Parker said there's a strong likelihood that the due process rights of poor people are being violated when their licenses are suspended for failure to pay fines. She halted some suspensions on Dec. 14.

Former Detroit deputy police chief to plead guilty to corruption

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit deputy police chief is expected to plead guilty next week in a corruption case related to towing contracts.

Celia Washington is accused of accepting at least $3,000 from a contractor, Gaspar Fiore. She served as the police department's legal adviser, responsible for overseeing private towing companies that remove cars seized by police.

A court hearing is set for Tuesday in Detroit federal court.

Washington's attorney, Arnold Reed, said she wants to put the matter "behind her." Reed said Washington never influenced the rotation of towing contractors, but she knew why Fiore was giving her money. Reed said she tried to return the money, but Fiore wouldn't take it.

Fiore pleaded guilty last week to a bribery conspiracy.

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