January 9, 2017
Progress Michigan Pushes to Expedite Schuette FOIA Lawsuit
Motion filed with Court of Appeals after state, federal complaints filed against Schuette
LANSING —Progress Michigan has filed a motion to expedite their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Attorney General Bill Schuette. The watchdog group pointed to their recent complaints at the state and federal level as reasons for the court to expedite the lawsuit, which seeks private emails sent by Schuette and his staff to conduct state business. The motion was filed on January 5th.
“Progress Michigan has filed complaints under the Michigan Campaign Finance Act and federal Hatch Act over Schuette’s illegal use of his staff to campaign for political office. The wrongfully concealed emails at issue in this case may contain evidence relevant to the investigation of those complaints, necessitating the disclosure of those emails as soon as possible,” the motion states.
“Transparency in government and FOIA reform are key tenets of what we believe at Progress Michigan,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We want to shine a light into Schuette’s office. It’s unacceptable for Schuette and his staff to use private email accounts to conduct the state’s business. We believe those same emails that are being denied to the public could also contain some problematic conversations about hiring political staff with public funds. We need to ensure Bill Schuette is operating above board.”
Last week, Progress Michigan filed two complaints against Bill Schuette. The first was a campaign finance complaint filed with the Michigan Secretary of State. The second was a Hatch Act complaint filed with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in Washington D.C. Both complaints allege Schuette misused public funds when he hired current and former political operatives to public positions to bolster his campaign for governor.