UPDATE: Rep. Kivela dies after apparent suicide

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 3:20 p.m. ET

According to ABC Affiliate WZZM and the Detroit Free Press, State Rep. John Kivela has died of an apparent suicide, hours after he was released from jail after his drunk driving arrest Monday afternoon.

The state representative from Marquette was in his third and final term in the House.


UPDATE: Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 9:55 a.m. ET

State Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette) posted bond and is out of jail this morning. Kivela was arrested Monday afternoon in Clinton County for OUI – Operating with a Blood Alcohol Content of .17 or more.

We’ve reached out to Rep. Kivela’s office in Lansing for comment on his latest arrest. Kivela was arrested in 2015 for drunk driving in Clinton County.

He received 12 months probation and $1,500 in fines and costs. Kivela will be arraigned May 18th.

We will continue to provide more information on his arrest and pending court case as information becomes available.


CLINTON COUNTY , Mich. — State representative John Kivela (D-Marquette), 47, was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.

He’s currently in custody at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

Kivela was arrested around 4 p.m. this evening for OUI (operating under the influence) with a blood alcohol content of .17 or more, which falls under Michigan’s “Super Drunk” law. Records indicate he tested twice over the legal limit. Kivela is being arraigned Wednesday in Clinton County District Court at 2 p.m.

His bond is set for $300. Representative John Kivela remains in jail at this hour.


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UPDATE 6:15 p.m. December 18th, 2015 (EST) CLINTON COUNTY — State Rep. John Kivela’s court case involving a recent drunk driving arrest will come to a close next month.

Kivela (D-Marquette) pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of OWI – First Offense Friday in Clinton County District Court. He will receive a probation sentence along with $1,510 in court fines and costs.

Kivela was arrested on November 9th. He originally was charged with Operating a Vehicle With a Blood Alcohol Content of .17 or more and Transporting Open Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle. He will be sentenced January 19th.

Kivela is in his second term as a representative in the state house.


UPDATE 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 3rd, 2015 (EST) — MLive.com has released the video of State Representative John Kivela’s arrest for drunk driving from earlier in November.

Warning: This video contains adult language.

Kivela was charged under Michigan’s ‘Super Drunk’ laws, after nearly hitting another car while allegedly intoxicated, speeding at 80 miles an hour, and swerving in and out of lanes, according to the prosecutor.

He was planning to return to the state capitol this week when he suffered an unrelated medical emergency while attending a city commission meeting. According to his Facebook page, after the meeting Monday, he began to feel weak. Doctors discovered internal blood loss linked to an artery at a former surgical incision.

Although losing a lot of blood, according to a spokesperson, the two term State Representative is expected to recover.


UPDATE 8:55 p.m. Friday, November 20, 2015 (EST) — According to the Detroit Free Press, the prosecutor charging State Representative John Kivela said Kivela had an open bottle of whiskey in his truck before his arrest. Reportedly, he was speeding at 80 miles per hour, swerving in and out of lanes and was confused about where he was coming from. He is said to have begged for leniency when stopped.

Kivela has been charged under the state’s “super drunk” law. Click here to read more.


LANSING — An Upper Peninsula lawmaker is in trouble with the law after he was arrested last night for drunk driving.

According to the Detroit Free Press, State Rep. John Kivela (D-Marquette) was arrested for driving under the influence just outside of Lansing.

The 46–year–old Kivela said in a statement, “I am truly sorry to my wife, family, and constituents for letting them down.”

Kivela added that he’s battled with alcoholism for most of his adult life and he plans on seeking treatment immediately.

ABC 10 reached out to Kivela’s office in Lansing this afternoon. We were told there would be no further comment at this time.

Kivela is in his second term as a representative in the state house.

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