During a DUI arrest earlier this month, a Michigan lawmaker boasted about his ties to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and warned officers he helps sets the state police budget, authorities said.
State Rep. Jewell Jones crashed his Chevy Tahoe, with the vanity plate "ELECTED," into a ditch near Fowlerville on April 6 before struggling with police as they arrested him, according to state police and Livingston County prosecutors.
Jones, 26, was shocked twice with a Taser and hit with pepper spray before he was handcuffed, state police said.
During the tussle, Jewell allegedly warned troopers that their actions are "not going to be good for you," according to a state police report. "I run y'all budget, bro."
When troopers threatened to hit Jones, he allegedly told them, "if you strike me, it's going to be bad for you" and "I'll call Governor Whitmer right now," the incident report said.
Later during the struggle, Jones said, "when I call Gretchen," he'd need badge numbers for all the state troopers and Fowlerville police officers on the scene, according to the state police report.
In a lengthy statement, Jones' attorney, Ali Hammoud, called his client a dedicated public servant, denied the lawmaker resisted arrest and insisted "he was not threatening the officers in any way."
"He was fully cooperative," Hammoud said. "The officers decided to throw Representative Jones to the ground and three of them held him down, crushing him under their weight. The officers also tased Representative Jones in his head, causing memory loss and leaving scars that are visible to this day. They used so much pepper spray on his face that his eyes still appear profoundly red and swollen."
When asked if Jones dropped Whitmer's name or mentioned the state police budget during the April 6 encounter, Hammoud didn't completely discount that police narrative.
"Anything he said regarding budgets and the governor was an attempt to stop them from using excessive force," Hammoud told NBC News.
Representatives for Whitmer did not return messages Thursday and Friday seeking comment.
Jones has been charged with resisting arrest, operating a motor vehicle with high blood alcohol content, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, possession of a weapon under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, prosecutors said.
He faces a maximum penalty of up to two years behind bars.
Jones, a Democrat, represents the 11th District, which is all of Garden City and Inkster, and portions of Dearborn Heights, Livonia and Westland.