MDP renews its call for Republicans to create select committee to investigate Chatfield spending
LANSING – New details about the investigation into the campaign fundraising practices of disgraced former Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield shows the urgent need for a full-scale financial review of his tenure as House leader.
Bridge Michigan reported this week that State Police investigators are seeking, “documents ranging from financial disclosures filed with the Michigan Secretary of State, to bank deposit and withdrawal statements, credit and debit card receipts, ‘all sources of income,’ including the names, addresses and amounts donated by donors to Chatfield political action committees and 501(c)(4)s, and even handwritten notes concerning financial matters.”
A search warrant reviewed by Bridge allowed investigators to look for financial records connected to Chatfield at the home of Anne and Rob Minard, who were top aides to Chatfield when he was the House Speaker from 2019-2020. The Detroit News reported that Anne and Rob Minard received nearly $50,000 in taxpayer-funded bonuses during that period.
“Michiganders deserve answers about the way their hard-earned tax dollars were used by Lee Chatfield,” said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “We urge the House Government Operations Committee to approve a resolution that would launch a bipartisan review so that the taxpayers of Michigan get a full accounting of what happened while the now disgraced speaker was in office.”
The Minards also were paid to track the former speaker’s financial records of his political accounts through their firm, Victor Strategies. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network has reported that, in its examination of five PACs connected to Chatfield and the Minards, it found at least 24 instances where another PAC reported giving to a Chatfield-connected committee that never reported receiving the contribution. It couldn’t account for as much as $100,000.
The Michigan Democratic Party continues to support a resolution introduced by House Democratic lawmakers that would create a six-member bipartisan select committee to examine Chatfield’s actions. The resolution, which would create a panel to subpoena witnesses, review materials and report its findings to the House, was referred to the House Government Operations Committee in March and is awaiting a hearing.