Skubick: The personal price paid for public service

Michigan

Working in state government can have a huge impact on a person’s family and Rich Baird can prove it.

The closest advisor to former Gov. Rick Snyder is talking about a letter his wife received accusing him of having an affair. 

After she was out of office, former Gov. Jennifier Granholm confided that serving for eight years meant her family had to do lots of things without her.  

That’s part of the sacrifice one makes to be in public service.

During the height of the Flint water crisis, former Gov. Snyder reports one of his children was stalked and required State Police protection.

Now comes Rich Baird, who for eight years was Gov. Snyder’s closest confident.

As for the impact on his family?

“It is a huge impact on the family,” says Baird.

Mr. Baird worked below the radar, avoiding media coverage.

But now out of office, he shares for the first time the State Police phone call he got regarding somebody sending a letter to his family.

“They sent a letter to my son and wife suggesting I had an affair with a 28-year-old African-American women with three children.”

The letter also alleged that “I was paying her $1000 a month to have relations with her. It was unsigned with the woman saying she was sorry but needed the money.”

Then came a call from his wife Linda in Chicago.

“Linda called and said you’re not going to believe this. She read it to me. I asked if it had a return address and she said google it. If I’m doing all this, I’d like to know who I’m doing it with,” explained Baird.

The address was a boarded up dollar store on a seedy side of Lansing, according to Mr. Baird.

Despite all the slings and arrows he took for serving, he reports one thing kept him sane: his humor.

“(smiles) I think I would have gone insane without it.”
 

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