Former Saginaw County Commissioner Raymond Bartels is facing a one-year misdemeanor charge in connection with a fatal traffic crash. Bartels, who is 78, has been charged with one count of a moving violation causing death. Prosecutors said he failed to stop for a stop sign at Lawndale and McCarty in Saginaw Township on March 18, and hit another vehicle. The crash killed the other driver, 36-year-old Valarie O’Farrell of Saginaw Township.
The Midland County Prosecutor’s office is handling the case because of the Saginaw office’s previous relationship with Bartels when he served as a county commissioner. Saginaw County prosecutors recused themselves. The Midland County prosecutor’s office says tests indicate alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the crash.
Bartels was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond after his arraignment on Wednesday.