Harbaugh aide Minick gets probation for OWI

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Minick is pictured with Jim Harbaugh when they attended a Ravens game in January.

Ann Arbor – Jim Minick, Michigan associate athletic director for football, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and also for refusing a Breathalyzer test and will face eight months probation, court fines and must complete an education program.

Minick, a longtime friend of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and hired by Harbaugh, appeared in 14A-1 District Court accompanied by his lawyer, John Shea. They went before Judge Richard Conlin for the arraignment/pretrial.

In the early hours of May 8, Minick was arrested after a single-car accident in Pittsfield Township. He told police he swerved his 2015 GMC Yukon to avoid another car. There were no injuries. He refused a Breathalyzer test and was taken into custody and held at the Washtenaw County Jail. He was administered a blood test.

A police report of the incident has not yet been made available.

Minick told the court on Wednesday he had eight drinks. His blood-alcohol was .185.

"(I) really regret everything that has happened," Minick told the judge. "I think every American knows what I did was wrong. I think in my experience, I know it's wrong. I feel the most for my family and my employer. I own this and take full responsibility."

Minick and Shea declined comment outside the courtroom.

The court date originally was scheduled for July 1 but was moved up at the request of Shea, who has a minor surgical procedure next Tuesday and would not be available for court.

Shea addressed the court first and told the judge that Minick is a 26-year veteran of the Marines and retired with the rank of Colonel. Upon exiting the courtroom, a court officer stopped Minick and thanked him for his service and for his remarks to the judge.

Harbaugh suspended Minick indefinitely May 13 and reinstated him earlier this month.

"He wants to take responsibility for this as he has and he wants to do it as quickly as he can and put this behind him all for good reasons," Shea told the court. "Mr. Minick is 50 years old, he's never been in trouble before with the law.

"He has a good job in a very responsible position at the University of Michigan. They know about this. They have supported him thus far. He feels badly about having placed them in the position that they're in as a result of this. This occurred and he knows he has to step up to it and he has. I don't believe, your honor, you're going to see Mr. Minick fail in his probation conditions or be before you again in this or any similar circumstance."

Shea asked the judge to sentence Minick as he would any first-time offender and requested six months probation.

"I don't believe Mr. Minick needs more supervision than that," Shea said, before adding that Minick is prepared to complete the education program.

Conlin sentenced him to eight months probation but said he will consider an early discharge. Minick paid $1,325 total in fines, including $240 in probation oversight fees and $175 for refusing the Breathalyzer.