Local MDP chair calls on local Republican to take up Chatfield investigation

Livingston County Democratic Party chair call on local GOP state rep to investigate use of taxpayer money by Lee Chatfield

LANSING —  Democrats who live in the counties that make up the new 72nd House District want to know why the Republican incumbent legislator running for that seat isn’t investigating former Speaker Lee Chatfield’s use of their taxpayer dollars. 

State Rep. Mike Mueller, of Linden, received $30,000 in campaign donations from Chatfield’s PACs between September 2018 and September 2020. Mueller is now the chairman of the Michigan House Government Operations Committee, which would be responsible for reviewing the way Chatfield managed taxpayer dollars during his tenure as speaker. 

The new 72nd House District includes parts of Oakland, Livingston and Genesee counties.

“This being a newly drawn district, some residents of the 72nd District seat are just getting to know Rep. Mueller. We want to know what he’s doing to make sure Lansing has been responsible with our hard-earned tax money,” said Judy Daubenmier, chair of theLivingston County Democratic Party. “Mueller and his Republican colleagues need to remember that their loyalty is to their constituents, not a disgraced party boss who donated to their campaigns.” 

Mueller, of Linden, received at least four campaign contributions from Chatfield’s PACs, ranging from $4,400 to $10,000.

In March, House Democratic lawmakers introduced a resolution to create a select committee to examine Chatfield’s actions. Mueller’s committee, the House Committee on Government Operations, has not acted on the measure since it was referred to the panel in March. 

The Michigan Democratic Party is renewing its demand for a full investigation into the bonus payouts of hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars to members of Chatfield’s staff, including those that went to two of his former aides who are separately accused of mishandling his campaign funds.

“Every dollar and every expense must be accounted for during the time Lee Chatfield controlled the House finances and House budget,” said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. “Anything short of that is an affront to Michigan taxpayers who deserve answers, transparency and accountability.”

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