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Shiawassee County officials use federal relief money for bonuses

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
It costs a lot of money to go to college.

Elected officials in a Michigan county gave themselves bonuses with federal relief money related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money, described as "hazard pay," included $25,000 for Jeremy Root, chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners.Shiawassee is a mostly rural county between Lansing and Flint, with a population of 68,000. Commissioners - all Republicans - voted last week to award money to dozens of county employees.

It ranges from $25,000 for administrators to $2,000 for cleaning staff. All workers got at least $1,000.

Commissioner Marlene Webster says she didn't know she voted to reward herself and plans to return the money. Meanwhile, a resident has filed a lawsuit to try to rescind some of the bonuses.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.