Orion Twp. Supervisor pleads guilty to drinking & driving, sentencing is scheduled in March

Orion Township Supervisor Christopher Barnett has pled guilty to a lesser offense in his drinking and driving case.

Barnett entered a plea of Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) on Feb. 14 before District Judge David Law in the 52-1 District Court in Novi.

Barnett, 41, was initially cited with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol/Liquor (OWI) after being pulled over by Auburn Hills police on Jan. 12 for what was described as a routine traffic violation.

He was booked and lodged at the Oakland County Jail and released the same day.

Both charges are misdemeanors but carry different penalties under Michigan law. Barnett’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 25.

Barnett’s case was first assigned to Judge Julie Nicholson in the 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills but was transferred to Novi.

The day after his arrest, Barnett issued a public apology to his family, township officials and the Orion community, saying he accepted responsibility for his actions. – By Jim Newell