Judge Refuses to Toss Prostitution Charges Against Hollowell

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A judge on Tuesday rejected requests by a lawyer for former Michigan Democratic Party chairman Melvin “Butch” Hollowell to throw out a charge of soliciting a prostitute.

Hollowell, 44, a longtime fixture in Michigan Democratic politics, faces a misdemeanor charge of receiving and admitting another for an act of prostitution. He has denied the charge, calling the incident a “gross misunderstanding.”

Defense attorney Cornelius Pitts had argued that a Wayne County sheriff's deputy didn't have jurisdiction to arrest Hollowell following an Aug. 17 traffic stop and that the city law under which Hollowell is charged is vague.

Visiting Judge Michael Cunigan rejected the arguments. Cunigan also set an evidentiary hearing for Dec. 14 for an argument by Pitts that officers did not have probable cause to pull over Hollowell.

Hollowell left his Democratic Party post to become an unpaid adviser to presidential nominee John Kerry's national legal team, but stepped down after he was issued the solicitation citation. He also resigned his appointment to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission and his position with a Detroit law firm.