Michigan’s Clean Slate Expungement Week starts in Flint

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A gavel.(AP GraphicsBank)
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 9:45 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - There have been all kinds of challenges since Eequindre Stewart started his own home and business restoration company three years ago.

The biggest roadblock in taking his company to the next level is something Stewart did in 1996.

“I actually worked for a company that didn’t pay and they left their payroll office open and so I went and made checks out for me and the guys that worked with me,” Stewart said.

He was convicted of a felony check cashing fraud charge and served seven years in prison. That life altering decision is still with him 25 years later.

“It stops me from being able to get certain jobs, at least decent paying jobs or any jobs where there is retail or anything. They don’t want to hire me because of the felony,” Stewart said.

He was hoping to change that Saturday and have his record wiped clean by attending one of the expungement fairs now taking place during Michigan Clean Slate Expungement Week. It’s an opportunity for Michiganders to remove old convictions from their public record and have a clean slate.

“That means our company will be able to grow. That means we will be able do more things as far as traveling and doing things in other states,” Stewart said.

The event, which also included a job fair, was hosted by the Black & Brown Cannabis Guild of Michigan.

“The Black and Brown Cannabis Guild started the pipeline to employment about a year and just because we saw that’s what people wanted. The number one reason why people were coming to our expungement fairs was because they needed a job or a better job or a career and so we knew that cannabis industry in Michigan was blooming to be one of the biggest in the country, so we decided to start going to operators and setting up expedited processes of hiring them so people can get a chance to some of the best jobs in the cannabis industry,” said founder Denavvia Mojet.

Today, Stewart was given a second chance. One he is grateful for.

“With me being able to get my record expunged, I’ll be able to get my business license,” Stewart said.

The Michigan Expungement Week fair runs through Oct. 2 with stops in Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor, Muskegon and Detroit.

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