Daniel Minzey, of Chelsea, was elected Washtenaw County Sheriff in 2000, and reelected in 2004. Minzey was previously a Sergeant with 10 years of road patrol experience. Minzey lost the 2008 election to Jerry Clayton.

Sheriff Minzey came under increasing criticism in his second term, in part because of a lawsuit over road patrol subsidies, in which he joined several Townships against the County, and in part because of the death of Clifton Lee Jr., who died after allegedly being asphyxiated by Sheriff's deputies during a traffic stop in the West Willow neighborhood of Ypsilanti Township; the County settled a wrongful death lawsuit by Lee's family for $4 million, but the family has additionally brought a federal civil suit in the case.

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