close
close

A suspended driver who went viral when he logged into Zoom court hearing from his car reveals a major twist in his case after being released from prison … and the judge may owe him an apology

  • Corey Harris, 44, made the revelation Thursday in a phone call with 7 News Detroit
  • He told 7 News Detroit how the order suspending his license was lifted in 2022
  • It was never forwarded to the relevant authorities. Records support his claims

A supposedly suspended driver who was mocked online for driving while impaired during a virtual court hearing has admitted that he was actually the victim of a clerical error.

Corey Harris, 44, revealed the monumental mix-up two weeks after the May 15 virtual hearing into an October traffic stop in suburban Michigan went viral.

Judge Cedric Simpson expressed his disbelief after Harris, a prominent member of the Ann Arbor community, appeared to be driving during a hearing on a driver's license suspension.

However, Harris told 7 News Detroit that although the order suspending his license was lifted in January 2022, it was never forwarded to the appropriate state authorities.

This development is supported by court documents obtained by the broadcaster and comes after Harris had already spent two days in jail at the hands of an angry judge, Cedric Simpson.

Meanwhile, Harris continues to go viral – to the driver’s dismay.

Scroll down for the video:

Corey Harris, 44, made the revelation in a phone interview Thursday — two weeks after the May 15 viral virtual hearing on an October traffic stop in suburban Michigan.
Judge Cedric Simpson expressed disbelief after Harris – a prominent member of the Ann Arbor community – appeared to be driving during a hearing on a driver's license suspension, an oversight that has yet to be corrected in state records.

“Mr. Harris, are you driving?” Simpson asks in the clip – which ends with Harris' bail being revoked and Simpson ordering him to turn himself in to authorities by 6 p.m.

Harris, in turn, replied that he was driving – which surprised Simpson.

“OK, maybe I don’t understand something,” says the lawyer from Ann Arbor, visibly incredulous

“This is driving with a suspended license [case]… And he was just driving, and he doesn't have a license.'

Harris also seems surprised at this point and tells Simpson that he was on his way to a doctor's parking lot to keep an appointment – as it later turned out, the appointment was for his wife.

But Simpson was not convinced and ultimately decided that Harris should spend two days in the county jail during the hearing and himself.

He complied with both obligations and went to the Washtenaw County Jail that same day.

Harris said the suspension should never have happened because another court had already lifted the license suspension two years ago but had failed to submit the documents to the agency responsible for reissuing it.

He says he is now “embarrassed” by the case as he faces the consequences of being falsely ridiculed by the general public.

“Mr. Harris, are you driving?” Simpson asks in the clip – which ends with Harris' bail being revoked and Simpson ordering him to turn himself in to authorities by 6 p.m.
Harris' public defender, pictured here, has not commented on the mishap, saying he too missed the obvious oversight. Meanwhile, the reversal is still available in Saginaw County court records.

“Given the nature of my ties to the church and community, this is very embarrassing,” Harris told the station about the incident, which attracted widespread attention.

“What was I thinking? I was thinking about getting medical help for my wife,” he said of Simpson's questions.

'That's what I was thinking.'

He added: “I didn't think about the fact that my license was revoked. I don't care about any of that.”

“The ban should have been lifted two years ago, but it was not lifted.”

Court records support the churchgoer's claims, 14 years after his license was revoked in 2010.

The ruling in that case was for unpaid child support, but was overturned 12 years later by another judge, 7 News found.

The station was the first to spot the typo in Harris' court filings and reported that Simpson himself was unaware of the reinstatement because the Michigan Secretary of State's office never received the necessary approval.

Harris said he is now “embarrassed” about the case – as he has to deal with the consequences of being unfairly ridiculed by the general public. He wants this to be rectified as soon as possible

The agency tasked with providing such evidence, the Saginaw County Friend of the Court, assists clients in modifying custody, visitation and support agreements.

As of Thursday afternoon, Harris' driver's license was still listed as revoked – the same documents that the police and the judge used as a basis.

“I don't even know why he would do that,” Simpson complains in the now viral video clip at Harris' expense.

He revealed that he had already visited the Foreign Minister's office in the hope of clarifying the matter and used the mix-up as an opportunity to warn others about possible failures on the part of the citizens' initiative in their neighborhood.

He said, “Always double check these workers. Because they say they will do something and then they don't do it.”

Furthermore, neither Simpson nor Harris' public defender commented on the oversight because they also missed it.

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Saginaw County Friend of the Court to clarify what went wrong in Harris' case. The revocation is still visible in state records.