Livingston County Sheriff pays $200 for political ad while in uniform

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A sheriff has paid $200 to resolve a complaint about him appearing in a 2018 commercial for the Republican candidate for Michigan governor.

Livingston County Sheriff Michael Murphy was in the TV ad in support of Bill Schuette, who lost in November.

Judith Daubenmier, chairwoman of the Livingston County Democratic Party, had alleged Murphy violated Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act by appearing in the commercial in uniform with a department vehicle. Murphy argued he was exercising his Constitutional right to free speech.

The Michigan Secretary of State’s office ruled Murphy committed a “potential violation.” An agreement to resolve the complaint had Murphy pay $100 to Livingston County and $100 to the state.

Murphy says he didn’t think he violated any law and he also reimbursed the county $585 for attorney fees.

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