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State Rep. John Kivela apparently commits suicide after drunk driving arrest

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Posted at 3:51 PM, May 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-09 16:16:15-04

A Michigan State Representative from Marquette has apparently committed suicide after being arrested for drunk driving.

John Kivela was found dead in his Lansing home just hours after he was released from custody. He was term limited, currently serving his third and final term, and had announced he was running for state senate.

A Democrat, Kivela represented the 109th District, which includes Alger, Luce and Schoolcraft counties and part of Marquette County.

The Michigan Democratic party released the following statement:

We are deeply saddened to learn of John Kivela’s death. Having served with John in the legislature, I know how much he cared about his family, his friends, and the people he served in Marquette. Our hearts, prayers, and deepest condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and his children, Shelby and Andrew.

Speaker of the House Tom Leonard released the following statement:

We are all devastated to hear the news about Rep. Kivela today.  He was a good friend and partner to everyone he met in the House, and he was an absolute joy to work with.  He cared deeply about his family, his community, and his work as a public servant, and it came through strongly in every conversation we had.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, including his wife Sandy and his two children.  This is a terrible loss, and he will be truly missed.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder responded to Kivela's death with the following statement:

The news of Rep. John Kivela’s passing is devastating to all who knew and worked with him. Lt. Gov. Calley and I spent a lot of time working with John in his district -- he was a great person and this is very sad news. John was a tremendous partner in the Legislature who always put the needs of his constituents in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula first. It is with great sadness that I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and colleagues in the Legislature as we mourn his untimely passing.