Kivela's daughter opens up on dad's suicide, alcoholism

Just hours after the apparent suicide of her father, the 25-year-old daughter of state Rep. John Kivela shared a look into her father's troubled past. 

Kivela, D-Marquette, was found dead in Lansing from an apparent suicide Tuesday afternoon, hours after he was released on bond from the Clinton County Jail following his second drunk driving arrest in less than two years.

In a widely shared Facebook post, Shelby Kivela said her father's drinking problem had strained their relationship in the last two years, but "he battled his disease and continued to be an incredible advocate for our corner of Michigan."

"My dad's drunk driving arrest wasn't because he couldn't afford a taxi or Uber, it was because he was trying so hard to be a husband, father and state representative and juggle his disease somewhere he could hide from the people — unfortunately in a very unsafe place," Shelby Kivela said in the post.

She described the wonderful childhood her parents gave her and said "the time I spent campaigning with him for his first run for state rep is still one of the proudest times of my life."

Shelby Kivela said: "I'm not ashamed to talk about the last two years of my dad's life that have been extremely difficult and will continue to speak out more as addiction is now closer to my heart than ever."

According to her Facebook profile, she lives in Boston.

Read her complete post:

© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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