Detroit area legacy politician arrested faces drunken driving charges

The state representative faces her second OWI offense

Michigan State Rep. Mary Cavanagh, D-Redford. - State of Michigan
State of Michigan
Michigan State Rep. Mary Cavanagh, D-Redford.

Michigan State Rep. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford) is facing a drunken-driving charge, making her the third Michigan representative to face the charge within the past 12 months.

According to reports, Cavanagh was arrested just before 3 a.m. on Feb. 25 after a Livonia police officer witnessed her driving on I-96 with two flat tires. A field sobriety test was conducted, though Livonia police have not released the results of that test. Cavanagh was charged with operating while intoxicated.

The news of Cavanagh's February arrest comes roughly 40 days after the incident and two weeks after the March 24 arraignment — a sharp contrast to Rep. Jewell Jones' (D-Inkster) April 2021 arrest, which was reported the next day.

While there are a few raised brows as to the delayed report of her arrest, no brow raised higher than from House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell). According to the Detroit Free Press, Wentworth was made aware of the charges after they were reported by Gongwer, a political newswire service that first broke the story.

"Nobody ever admitted to what happened, hoping it would go away unnoticed. And unfortunately, that means everyone is still trying to figure it out. Thankfully, the Livonia Police were on alert and intervened before anything tragic happened," Wentworth said in a statement to the Freep. "I just hope Leader (Donna) Lasinski and the Democrat caucus didn’t know and try to keep it under wraps. Even if we have to step in as the legal process plays out, we will make sure the people of Michigan get the accountability they deserve."

According to Deadline Detroit, this is would be the second time Cavanagh has been arrested for alleged drunken driving. In 2015, she pleaded guilty to operating while impaired and received one year of probation, according to Deadline Detroit.

Cavanagh is a third-generation Michigan politician. Her grandfather, Jerome Cavanagh, served as Detroit's mayor from 1962-1970 and was the first mayor to reside in Manoogian Mansion. Her father, Phil Cavanagh, served as a state representative from 2011 - 2015 in Michigan's 10th district, the district his daughter now represents.

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About The Author

Alex Washington

Born and raised on Detroit's Westside, Alex Washington is about as Detroit as they come. She judges your coney island order and serves a mean side-eye when anything across Eight Mile is called "Detroit." Her writing has been published in Real Detroit Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, Model D, BLAC magazine, and...
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