Rep. Monte Geralds (D-Madison Heights) was expelled from the Michigan Legislature on May 10, 1978. An attorney, he had been convicted of embezzling $24,000 from a wealthy Bloomfield Hills heiress he had represented before being elected to office.
His case was on appeal, but fellow lawmakers didn’t like serving alongside a convicted felon.
Geralds refused to resign.
Geralds, who chain smoked throughout the historic debate, finally got up to speak. Rocking back and forth on his heels, he said: “I was innocent. I am innocent and I always will be innocent of those charges.”
Moments before the 84-20 vote to expel Geralds, House Speaker Bobby Crim had his say.
“Monte, this is not easy for me because I’m asking for your expulsion…I pray no future legislature will again be faced with this decision.”
It was the second time in political history that Michigan had expelled a legislator.
Charlie Cain, “Reporters Notes”, Dome, July 16, 2009.
Michael Arkush, “Geralds Expelled for Embezzling“, Michigan Daily, May 11, 1978.
Emily Lawler, “Deaths, drugs and skullduggery: A brief history of Michigan political scandals“, MLive, August 21, 2015; Updated August 24, 2015.
Check April 28, 1887 entry for Milo H. Dakin, the first person expelled from the Michigan Legislature.