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AG Nessel will not criminally charge Weiser for campaign finance violation

Ron Weiser
Posted at 11:58 AM, Aug 23, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will not charge Ron Weiser criminally for using Michigan Republican Party funds to pay Stan Grot for withdrawing from the 2018 Secretary of State race.

Last month Weiser, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, agreed to pay a $200,000 fine after a review by the Michigan Department of State determined seven payments made from the party’s administrative account to Grot violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

The payments – totaling $200,000 – were made between August 2018 and February 2019.

Nessel announced Monday that because the fine was paid through a conciliation agreement – and because there has been no violation of that agreement – it bars additional criminal action by her department.

Additional legal analysis was done to determine if any other criminal statutes could apply to the payoff or against Weiser as the payor.

Nessel’s office determined that, in short, Weiser’s roles as chairman and previously as party delegate do not qualify him as a public official under Michigan law and therefore he cannot be criminally charged as such.

“Paying a candidate for office to withdraw from a statewide election is no doubt insidious behavior that diminishes and undermines our democracy,” Nessel said. “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.”

Read the department’s full warrant denial memo here.