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'He has never had a Michigan license!' Judge slams Corey Harris as suspended driver is locked up again

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 05, 2024

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — A judge in Ann Arbor came ready with the receipts Wednesday when Corey Harris returned to his courtroom for the next chapter of the now-infamous case of driving while license suspended. And by the time the hearing was over, Harris was back in the Washtenaw County Jail.

"He has never had a Michigan license, ever!' said Judge Cedric Simpson, looking to set the record straight in Harris' case.

Harris had tried to blame the fact that his driving record was still listed as 'suspended' on the Saginaw Friend of the Court, saying they were to blame for the suspension not being lifted in a child support case after a judge ordered that the suspension be lifted in January 2022.

But on Tuesday, court officials said Harris never paid his fees to the clerk's office so a clearance was never sent to the Secretary of State.

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On Wednesday, during Harris' pre-trial hearing on the suspension case, Judge Simpson said Harris is the only one at fault.

"The person that needed to be blamed is the person that he was staring at in the mirror," Simpson said. "He didn't do what he should have done."

Judge Simpson then revealed that Harris has never had a valid driver's license in Michigan or any other state.

On Tuesday, during an interview with Harris and his new attorney, 7 News Detroit asked Harris if he ever had a valid driver's license. He said he didn't recall.

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A spokesperson for the Secretary of State said they can confirm that Harris has never had a valid driver's license now that the judge has made that information public.

In Michigan, a person can have suspensions on their driving record and also not have a valid driver's license. And if that person was able to obtain a driver's license, they would still not have the privilege of driving until they cleared their suspensions.

A prosecutor from Pittsfield Township appeared for the hearing Wednesday along with the police officer who issued the citation to Harris in October 2022.

Konrad Siller confirmed that Harris absolutely knew he did not have a valid driver's license during that traffic stop because he admitted it to the officer that day.

Judge Simpson noted additional evidence that Harris knew he did not have a driver's license by the fact that Harris has faithfully renewed his state identification every year.

Harris was stunned when at the end of the hearing Wednesday when Judge Simpson revealed that Harris has a bench warrant for his arrest.

It was for a 2015 case of driving while license suspended out of Allen Park.

Harris' new defense attorney, Dionne Webster-Cox, said she was shocked.

Harris' wife, who was also in court, said she and her husband Corey recently paid the fees in the Allen Park case and she seemed perplexed that he was being arrested.. again.

Harris has said the video of his May 15 virtual court appearance going viral has led to him being ridiculed and harassed.

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Judge Simpson said Harris needed to own his problems and the 'hoopla' as well because it only happened because he was driving when he wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel.

"There was no error by anybody. It was a failure on the part of Mr. Harris to do certain things," said Judge Simpson, who also acknowledged that it can sometimes be a complicated process. "But it was certainly not anybody's fault."

At first, the internet trolled Harris for driving during the hearing, and then came a wave of sympathy when online court records in his old child support case showed that a judge ordered the suspension be rescinded in January 2022.

At that time, no one from Saginaw County Friend of the Court would respond to media inquiries into the case.

All the Secretary of State's office knew was that they never received a clearance from the court in 2022.

On Tuesday, a judicial assistant for Saginaw County Circuit Court's chief judge said the Friend of the Court never sent a clearance to the Secretary of State because Harris never paid a fee to have it lifted to their clerk's office.

But even if Harris had paid those fees, it would not have given him the green light to drive because he's never had a license.

Will Harris, 44, now try to get a driver's license? His attorney said yes.

"It should be something a lesson for all of us," said Dionne Webster-Cox, Harris' new defense attorney. "Handle your business. At the end of the day, handle your business."

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