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Judge dismisses suit against Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A liberal group plans to appeal a judge’s decision dismissing its lawsuit claiming the Republican candidate for Michigan governorused his office for political gain.

The group, Progress Michigan, claimed in its lawsuit filed in May that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette violated the state Constitution by using his office for political patronage and his state employees for campaign purposes.

But this week, Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray dismissed the suit. In his decision, Murray found the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the suit and lacked evidence for some of the claims in the lawsuit. 

The decision was welcomed by the Attorney General’s office.

“The Court made the correct decision, and today’s dismissal is proof that this was a frivolous, politically motivated lawsuit,” says Andrea Bitely, Michigan Attorney General’s office spokeswoman. Schuette’s campaign spokesman declined to comment.

Progress Michigan blasted the decision, calling it “a setback for accountability and transparency.”

“Honestly, we’re not surprised that a Republican judge would try to protect the Republican nominee for governor two weeks out from an election, but we are disappointed that appears to be the case,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.

The group plans to appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Republican Bill Schuette faces Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, along with third party candidates, in next month’s election.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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