LANSING, Mich., Oct. 20, 2022 — State Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township) sent a letter today to Auditor General Doug Ringler requesting an audit of all stateside financial transactions under the control of former House Speaker Lee Chatfield and his office. News broke earlier this week that Chatfield was under investigation for, “an alleged ‘criminal enterprise,’ potentially involving embezzlement, bribery, campaign finance violations and controlled substances.” Previous reporting had also raised questions about the funding sources for Chatfield’s extensive cross-country travel.
“The public and Legislature deserve to know whether the former House speaker’s financial misdeeds include inappropriate or illegal use of taxpayer dollars,” said Brixie, the Democratic vice chair of the House Oversight Committee. “The allegations regarding the former speaker indicate the need for a full and complete audit. These are taxpayer dollars that should be scrutinized for any impropriety. Simply put — I’m calling for transparency.”
House Democrats have called for the formation of a bipartisan special committee to investigate Chatfield’s activities during his tenure in the House, as well as legislation that would bring greater transparency to Michigan’s government, which currently ranks last in the nation on ethics and transparency structures. However, House Republicans have continued to shield their members from bipartisan investigations whether for their participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection, tampering with election equipment or intertwining campaign and government staff payrolls.