January 5, 2018
‘Political Patronage at Its Worst’: Hatch Act Complaint Filed Against Schuette
Progress Michigan holding Schuette accountable for misusing public funds
MICHIGAN — Attorney General Schuette violated federal law when he hired current and former campaign staffers and political operatives to taxpayer-funded positions in his office, Progress Michigan said in a Hatch Act complaint mailed to the Office of Special Counsel in Washington, D.C. on January 3rd.
The complaint centers around an investigative report by the Detroit Free Press showing Schuette stacking his public office with GOP campaign operatives who have been and/or are working on his Attorney General and gubernatorial campaigns.
“Schuette has clearly used and is using his official authority and influence as Attorney General to affect the result of his own nomination and election efforts by hiring and contracting with his own paid political campaign staff, providing them with public jobs from which they are to assist his nomination and election efforts. This is political patronage at its worst which the Hatch Act is intended to prevent,” the complaint states.
“Bill Schuette’s job as Attorney General is to protect the people of the State of Michigan from scam artists, shady businesses and greedy corporate CEO’s who take advantage of the citizens of our state. If he wants to run for governor, fine, but he can’t use public funds that are meant to protect the people of Michigan. He needs to keep his campaign work and his responsibilities as attorney general separate,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Schuette has been an elected official for nearly as long as I have been alive, and he should know better than to misuse his office, but we’re not surprised by this type of shady behavior from him anymore.”
The Hatch Act complaint is the latest attempt by Progress Michigan to hold Schuette accountable for playing fast and loose with public funds to advance his political ambitions. On Tuesday, the watchdog group announced it was filing a campaign finance violation complaint with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office against Schuette and is currently fighting the AG in court over his refusal to release public records as required by the Freedom of Act.