LANSING —Today, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) issued the following statement on his request that the Office of the Auditor General perform an investigative audit to determine if any waste, fraud or abuse occurred within the Michigan Department of Transportation during the procurement of a roadside assistance contract:

“It has come to light through a Dec. 29 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. That article revealed certain things that happened around the awarding of the MDOT contract that I believe deserve further investigation. MDOT has a large budget, and it is getting more of our tax dollars to fix our roads that have been neglected for far too long. I think it is appropriate to ask the auditor general to investigate this roadside assistance contract to ensure that MDOT is following the procurement policies and procedures with all of its contracts.

“MDOT has been caught being reckless with our tax dollars before — think of the rail cars that it purchased and then let sit unused for years in a railroad yard — and then backpedaled when it tried to explain itself. If backpedaling were an Olympic sport, MDOT would take the gold. But I don’t want to see that happen again here, so that is why I am asking for this performance audit.”