AG's Office charges former Sturgis police chief with drunken driving

Former Sturgis Police Chief Geoffrey Smith has been charged with three misdemeanors stemming from a drunken driving incident in August, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday. 

Smith, 46, of Sturgis, was charged with one count of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a 93-day misdemeanor; one count of operating a motor vehicle with an unlawful blood alcohol level, a 93-day misdemeanor; and one count of operating a motor vehicle with a high blood-alcohol content, a 180-day misdemeanor. 

He waived his arraignment on Jan. 12 and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing at 9 a.m. Jan. 29 in St. Joseph County 3B District Court.

“Those of us who choose to work as public servants must hold ourselves to a higher standard and ensure the trust placed in us by the people is not broken,” Nessel said. “As public servants, we answer to the people we chose to represent and serve in our official duties, and we must conduct ourselves at all times with the public’s best interest in mind.”

Smith resigned his position from the Sturgis Police Department immediately after the Aug. 15 incident in which he reportedly struck a parked vehicle while driving under the influence southbound on Lakeview Avenue in Sturgis. Lab test results following the accident show Smith’s blood-alcohol level at the time was .208 percent. 

Consistent with Nessel’s public integrity efforts, the Attorney General’s Office agreed to review the case following a request from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office, due to a conflict of interest.