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Progress Michigan releases more Bill Schuette emails

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Courtesy of Bill Schuette
Attorney General Bill Schuette

A progressive watchdog group says the state attorney general has misused his office for political gain – and it has the emails to prove it.

Progress Michigan released a batch of emails Wednesday. They’re part of an ongoing lawsuit the group filed against Schuette.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan. He said they have hundreds of examples of state employees conducting political business for Schuette on state time. That includes an email that looks like Schuette planned to hold a meeting at a state office building about the then-upcoming Republican National Convention.

“Just to be clear, what the law says is that it’s illegal to conduct political activity on state time,” said Scott. “So it’s on the AG to prove that that’s not what’s taking place here, with every example we’re going to provide.”

Stu Sandler is with a political action group, Better Jobs Stronger Families, that supports Schuette. He said Progress Michigan sorted through eight years worth of emails from dozens of people.

“They’re cherry-picking 200 emails going through and saying, ‘Ah-ha! This person is doing this.’ Every state employee gets 60-90 minutes of personal time every single day,” he said. “They’re manipulating it, it’s wrong.”

A judge recently granted Schuette’s request to not have to turn over emails sent between his staff, himself, and political partners. But some people turned over emails before the judge said the subpoenas were not enforceable while he decides whether or not to dismiss the case.

A spokesperson for Schuette said Progress Michigan is playing political games a week ahead of the primary in order to try and change the outcome of the election. Schuette is a Republican candidate for governor.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R