Statement from state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) on the auditor general’s decision to not audit MDOT procurement practices:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

LANSING — In January, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) asked the Michigan auditor general to do an investigative audit of the procurement practices of the Michigan Department of Transportation. Rep. Dianda specifically requested for the audit to look at the department’s contract for roadside assistance, which was granted to a Detroit towing company owned by the ex-wife of Gasper Fiore. Gasper Fiore pled guilty to bribing a Macomb County official in Dec, 2017 during an FBI corruption investigation. Today, Dianda received word from the auditor general that they would not conduct an audit because of pending criminal investigations directly or indirectly related to MDOT procurement of roadside assistance services. In response, Rep. Dianda issued the following statement: 

“While I understand the auditor general’s decision to not audit MDOT at this time so as not to impede other investigations that are occurring right now, it solidifies the importance of bringing in new leadership for MDOT. It came to light through a Dec. 29, 2017, Detroit Free Press story that there are questions about whether bid-rigging, bribes and favoritism occurred when a roadside assistance contract was won by a Detroit towing company run by people tied to Gasper Fiore, meaning that our tax dollars, being spent by MDOT could potentially have been used to pay these bad actors. This is on top of the additional money we’ve been giving them this year, through the increased gas tax and vehicle registration fees meant to pay for road repairs that have yet to materialize, not to mention the $175 million supplemental the governor just signed to bolster the failed 2015 roads plan. I find it hard to believe that MDOT would not terminate a contract with any company with even tenuous ties to Gaspar Fiore, as it shows a mind-boggling lack of good judgement even if the only tie to Fiore is by association. If MDOT Director Kirk Steudle is that oblivious to how bad this looks, then he certainly doesn’t deserve to keep his job and keep spending our hard-earned state and federal tax dollars.”