Midland County sheriff pleads guilty, sentenced to probation for drunken driving
(12/13/2018) - Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson will spend a year on probation after pleading guilty Thursday to impaired driving.
He appeared in court for arraignment on the drunken driving charge and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of impaired driving under a deal with the Kalkaska County Prosecutor's Office.
Stephenson initially was charged with operating while intoxicated after he was arrested Nov. 16 while at a hunting camp in Kalkaska County. He has said he consumed alcohol and drove to find cell signal on higher ground.
A passerby reported Stephenson's vehicle parked along the road and called police. A Kalkaska County sheriff deputy arrested him at the scene.
In addition to the probation sentence, Stephenson also must attend an alcohol education course, avoid drugs and alcohol, submit to random breath or urine tests and pay about $600 in court costs.
Both the prosecutor's office and defense attorney said Stephenson's probation sentence is not unusual since it was his first offense.
Stephenson issued the following statement after his court appearance Thursday: "My poor choice has made a difficult time for my family and loved ones, and I truly appreciate the support they gave, and continue to give to me."
Stephenson has said he doesn't plan to resign as a result of this incident. However, he had planned before the incident to retire when his current term expires in 2020 and not seek re-election.