Attorney General Nessel: No charges in ‘Unlock Michigan’, ‘Make Your Date’ investigations


LANSING, Mich (WLNS) — Attorney General Dana Nessel released her findings today surrounding two criminal investigations — neither which will result in criminal charges.

The first was around the ‘Unlock Michigan’ petition drive. The other focused on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and his office.

In some instances related to Unlock Michigan, petitioners knowingly misled the public about what they were signing. In other cases, they allowed people to sign for their spouses.

While Nessel called both actions “Unethical” she said they don’t reach the level of illegal.

“There is also no law that directly prohibits a circulator from advising a voter that he or she may sign the name of any other person,” Nessel said.

A man named William Tissinger hired people to collect signatures and evidence shows he told them to leave petitions at private stores to gain signatures. While it’s illegal to do so on private property, he advised those he worked with to “act like you don’t know anything” if anybody asks questions.

“While comments made by Tissinger during training session are unethical…they do not rise to a level that would support criminal charges,” Nessel said.

Her office also looked into the Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, to see if his office was giving preferential treatment to a friend of his by offering city funding to her cause — ‘Make Your Date’.

It’s a free maternal health program to stop pre-term berths from at risk mothers in Detroit. Nessel said her office interviewed 21 witnesses, executed four search warrants, went over more than 1,500 pages of financial documents and looked at one million siezed documents.

In the end, the investigation determined Alexis Wiley — then Chief of Staff to the Mayor — ordered emails to be deleted to protect junior staffers. Furthermore, since all the emails were recovered, nobody could be charged with destruction of public documents.

“The definition of destroyed was not met as almost all emails were recovered and posted publicly,” Nessel said.

One of the people investigated in the mayor’s office was Ryan Friedrichs, husband of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

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