(02/03/14) - A former Saginaw mayor has legally cleared her name.
Wilmer Jones-Ham-McZee was convicted of insurance fraud back in 2007. That came after her car was found burned - and prosecutors said McZee made a false insurance claim.
Monday, a judge erased that conviction from her record.
It was 2006 when a Mercedes Benz was found burned at Wilmer Jones-Ham-McZee's home. The next year, a jury convicted her of insurance fraud - but brought back a not-guilty verdict on the arson charge.
Fast-forward to 2014. James Piazza, McZee's attorney then - and now - asked the court to clear the record of the ex-mayor and former Saginaw Schools employee - who has strong ties to her church.
"An individual who has given her life to the city and county of Saginaw," Piazza said.
He even listed off several well-known community leaders who sent their letters of support on behalf of McZee - to Judge James Borchard.
"I do grant her petition to set aside her conviction," Borchard said.
While it doesn't happen every day, having your criminal record cleared is not uncommon.
"If it's your only conviction, and it meets certain qualifications," Piazza said.
McZee came into court with a felony conviction - and walked out with a clean slate.
"Taking this jury conviction off of her record does erase a blemish on her record, on her life. And that means a lot to her," Piazza said.
McZee declined to comment on camera.
Right now, online court records still show the conviction - but that should all be erased. In the future, if anyone searches for her conviction, all they'll find are news reports - no court records.
ABC12 Main Station