AP Exclusive: Snyder Uses Pardon For Connected Lawyer

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder has used his pardon powers to clear the drunken driving conviction of a Detroit-area lawyer who serves on a state economic board.

Snyder knows Alan Gocha Jr., but he says they never discussed the pardon. Snyder says he followed the recommendation of the Michigan parole board.

Gocha won’t comment. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township.

Gocha is a lawyer for the maker of 5-hour Energy drinks. He says the conviction was affecting his work and international travel.

The pardon occurred in December, one of only 11 since Snyder was elected in 2010. There have been hundreds of applicants.

In 2011, Snyder appointed Gocha to the Talent Investment Board, an unpaid group focusing on job creation.

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