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House Democrats introduce resolution to investigate Lee Chatfield

a portrait of speaker of the Michigan house lee chatfield
Michigan House Republicans

Michigan House Democrats introduced a resolution Thursday to investigate possible ethics violations by a former speaker of the House.

Republican Lee Chatfield is under police investigation over claims of sexual assault. He's also facing allegations of financial misconduct. He denies wrongdoing.

State Representative Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) said the House can’t punish Chatfield. But he said they could get more information.

“Every time you hear something about this investigation or questions, nobody knew anything. ‘I had no idea this was going on,’" he said.

Well, if you bring in an independent arm to do this investigation, maybe we’ll find out some things. Were there some criminal issues? Maybe. Right now, we just don’t know,” Carter told reporters at a press conference Thursday morning.

Republican House leadership said it’s focusing on helping the law enforcement investigation instead of starting its own.

But House Minority Leader Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp) said both a criminal and ethical investigation are necessary.

“Your duty to your office is different in terms of integrity and ethics. It can overlap with criminality, but it doesn’t need to," Lansinski said. "We need to make sure that those questions are asked and answered here."

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