AG Nessel: No charges for GOP Weiser

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Attorney General Dana Nessel is not charging Ron Weiser for using funds from the Michigan Republican Party (MIGOP) to pay Stan Grot for withdrawing from the Secretary of State race in 2018.

Paying a candidate for office to withdraw from a statewide election is no doubt insidious behavior that diminishes and undermines our democracy. However, under the circumstances presented, Mr. Weiser’s use of political party funds to manipulate the nomination for the office of Secretary of State for the 2018 Michigan Republican Convention did not allow for criminal charges to be generated. Irrespective of the political actors or parties involved, the Public Integrity Unit of my department will continue to investigate and review allegations of corruption when presented. The fate of free and fair elections in our state demands no less.” 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

The Michigan Department of State found that Weiser paid Grot in seven payments, totalling to $200,000.

Through a conciliation agreement, Weiser agreed to pay a $200,000 fine for violating the Campaign Finance Act.

Weiser’s role as a chairman and former party delegate does not qualify him as a public official under criminal law, meaning that he cannot be charged under criminal statute.

Since Grot did not violate that agreement, the Department of Attorney General could not take any further criminal action.

A legal analysis was done to see if any other criminal law could apply to Weiser or the payoff.

The analysis noted in part, “This position is not statutorily created, requires no oath and is not invested with any sovereign function of the government. Our government does not require the creation or maintenance of political parties…. As the Chairman of the MIGOP there is no delegation of a portion of the sovereign power of government. The MIGOP does not serve a government function…. The powers and duties held by Mr. Weiser are not legislatively determined…. In sum, the analysis for whether or not Mr. Weiser is a public official fails on its face….” 

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