Man who went viral for zoom drive to court with suspended license gets to tell ‘the rest of the story’

After a Michigan man’s “embarrassing” court appearance went viral, his defense brought into question the state’s responsibility for his phone-in faux pas.

“Always double-check behind these workers because they will say that they will do something and they don’t do it.”

(Video: WXYZ)

Late last week, a mid-May virtual hearing for 44-year-old Corey Harris became a source of entertainment when he called in for a court appearance over a suspended license charge while actively driving a car. Acknowledgment of the error didn’t come without some deflection as failure from the Michigan Secretary of State’s office was raised.

“They were supposed to have been lifted it two years ago but they didn’t,” he told WXYZ over the phone as the video of his appearance before Washtenaw County Judge Cedric Simpson began circulating online.

According to the news outlet, the original license suspension dated back to 2010 with regard to a failure on his part to pay child support. However, records indicated that as of Jan. 2022 that order had been rescinded.

“Sometimes it is simple as we at the Secretary of State’s office did not get a clearance from the court that everything was done, but something happened in the wires, and we needed to talk to the court to get the clearance and clean it up for the resident,” explained Deputy Legal Director for the Michigan Secretary of State Khyla Craine.

Promoting the state’s Road to Restoration program for residents seeking reinstatement of a driver’s license, the deputy director added, “That’s why we provide that one-on-one consultation with the resident to help them understand what they need to do.”

“It’s very embarrassing, and with the type of ties that I have with the church and the community…it’s very embarrassing,” Harris remarked concerning the whole situation.

As had been reported, on May 15, the man explained that he was “pulling into my doctor’s office,” as he could be seen navigating a parking lot while Judge Simpson looked on in disbelief.

“Okay, so maybe I don’t understand something,” Simpson said moments after dropping his pen and holding his head in hand. “This is a driving while license suspended [case], and he was just driving, and he didn’t have a license.”

The judge promptly ordered Harris to report to the Washtenaw County Jail no later than 6 p.m. that same day which resulted in two days behind bars for the husband who indicated he had been taking his wife to the doctor.

“What was I thinking? I was thinking about getting my wife medical help. That’s what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I got a suspended license. I don’t care about all that,” he told WXYZ.

Regarding the failure by the state to follow through with reinstating his license, a point he claimed to be unaware of at the time of the October offense that prompted his May hearing, Harris remarked, “Always double-check behind these workers because they will say that they will do something and they don’t do it.”

Kevin Haggerty

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