Report: Snyder issues rare pardon for well-connected lawyer

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder scrubbed a drunken-driving conviction for a well-connected Metro Detroit lawyer — one of only 11 pardons he has issued out of nearly 750 applications since taking office, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Snyder defended the pardon of the lawyer, Alan Gocha Jr., the AP reports, saying, "I've met him on several occasions at different events. He never contributed to my campaign, not had any financial connection at all. I didn't meet with him about this issue."

Gocha contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's political action committee, the AP notes — a noteworthy point, as one of his references was the chamber's former lawyer who was also appointed to a state board by Snyder. A private equity company represented by Gocha's law firm also gave over $3 million to the Republican Governors Association, which worked to elect Snyder. 

An official with the state Corrections Department told AP reporters that Gocha didn't receive special treatment.