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Michigan AG's office releases results of contact tracing contract investigation

AG Dana Nessel
Posted at 11:27 AM, Dec 30, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday released the findings of her department’s criminal investigation into allegations that the Department of Health and Human Services unlawfully directed the procurement of a contract for COVID-19 contact-tracing to an alleged political ally.

The investigation was requested by Michigan State Sen. Jim Runestad in April, though Nessel’s office says he did not provide any information, documents or other evidence.

Three criminal investigators and four assistant attorneys general with expertise in criminal or procurement law conducted numerous interviews with 17 individuals.

They also obtained and reviewed thousands of emails and other documents as part of the investigation.

The department found no criminal conduct.

“I appreciate the concern raised by Sen. Runestad, but I also appreciate the reality under which this contract was pursued,” Nessel said. “With the benefit of hindsight, there may have been a better way to accomplish the department’s ultimate purpose but we found no evidence of criminality. Instead, it appears the imperfect process used here was mainly a result of the department’s attempt to get a contact-tracing program underway as quickly as possible in light of the dire public health crisis.”

Read the full report here.