Schuette Scandals Lead To Feeding Frenzy

Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press

Bombshell new emails reveal Attorney General Schuette violating the law yet again by using state resources for political purposes, this time to prepare for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016.

According to the Detroit Free Press:

“Attorney General Bill Schuette called a meeting in his state office building in Detroit in 2015 to discuss the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to records released Wednesday by Progress Michigan.

State law prohibits use of public resources such as state offices for political purposes.

Schuette is the state’s top law enforcement officer and is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in Tuesday’s primary.

A Schuette schedule includes the convention meeting, scheduled for 45 minutes just ahead of a meeting related to state business on the proposed Gordie Howe International Bridge between Detroit and Windsor.

It stands out among hundreds of Schuette-related emails released Wednesday by Progress Michigan as one of the most clear-cut examples of Schuette performing political work in a state office on state time.

That was only one incident. A Michigan TV station has obtained hundreds more emails, with multiple communications showing other violations by Schuette.

According to WDIV:

“Local 4 obtained three of the emails, but there are hundreds more to follow from Schuette and his staff over an eight-year period. The three emails are from the personal email accounts of Schuette and his staff members.

The emails were sent during business hours. For example, one from Schuette sent to congratulate his team on an excellent showing at a campaign event — a barbecue in the Upper Peninsula — was sent at 10:53 a.m. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

The two emails from Schuette staffers were also sent during regular business hours for the attorney general’s office. The contents of both emails deal with campaign-related issues.

Michigan law forbids campaigning on state time. Schuette and his staff members have always maintained that any emails similar to these were sent off state time — on vacation, during lunch or on a day off from the office.”

The news comes just one day after other emails revealed Schuette asking state employees to help with the Jeb Bush campaign in 2015, promising to give whoever could secure the most endorsements a gift card.

According to the Free Press:

“In an August 2015 email, Schuette scheduler Esther Jentzen invited various colleagues and political operatives to a conference call with Schuette on “presidential politics” scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on a Monday.

The August 2015 meeting was set two days before Schuette announced he was endorsing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican presidential primary and would serve as Bush’s state campaign chairman.

In another email sent from his own personal account on a Sunday, Schuette encouraged a similar group of state staffers and GOP allies to secure Bush endorsements, offering a $250 gift card to whoever got the most by “the close of business Wednesday.”

The emails are just the latest story to hound Schuette this year.

Schuette is the subject of an FBI investigation for using state employees to help him with secret luxury real estate deals, as well as a request for a grand jury investigation into the same issue in Ingham County.

Schuette faces Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State Senator Patrick Colbeck, and Dr. Jim Hines in the primary Tuesday.