Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking for a promotion in 2018. But Schuette’s record is clear: Schuette is only on-duty for special interests and political insiders. When it comes to fighting for Michigan’s working families, veterans and students, Bill Schuette’s off duty. Bill Schuette has the wrong priorities for Michigan.
Under Schuette’s watch, the Flint water crisis spiraled out of control. Schuette’s office signed off on a key environmental order that switched Flint to a contaminated water supply. Then, Schuette dragged his feet on investigating the crisis, delaying the process for months. When the people of Flint needed him, Schuette was off duty.
Detroit Free Press Headline: Schuette’s office OK’d Flint order in alleged tainted-water crimes. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office signed off on an environmental order that is central to new criminal charges Schuette filed last week in his Flint drinking water investigation, records show. […] One of the three signatures on the administrative consent order (ACO), which the Free Press first scrutinized in a May article, is that of Assistant Attorney General Robert Reichel of the AG’s environment, natural resources and agriculture division. Signing on behalf of Schuette, Reichel approved the order ‘as to form.’” [Detroit Free Press, 12/28/16]
In September 2015, Schuette Denied Request to Investigate Flint Water Delivery Crisis. According to the Detroit Free Press, “The disclosure of the Snyder e-mail and a second one [state Rep. Sheldon] Neeley [sent] to State Attorney General Bill Schuette in September asking for an investigation into the Flint water delivery crisis came two days after Snyder promised in his annual status report to fix the Flint water problem. Schuette, who declined to investigate last fall, is investigating now.” [Detroit Free Press, 1/22/16]
- Announced Investigation After Waiting Three Months. In February 2016, the Detroit Free Press reported, “After three months of statewide headlines on the lead-contaminated water, Attorney General Bill Schuette decided in mid-January to open an investigation into the controversy.” [Detroit Free Press, 2/11/16]
Detroit Free Press columnist: Schuette Has Many Possible Conflicts, Ulterior Motives. Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson criticized Schuette’s performance in the lead-up to the investigation, noting that “Schuette’s office is in no position to conduct the sort of straightforward, take-no-prisoners investigation he has pledged to oversee. His potential conflicts and possible ulterior motives are almost too numerous to catalog.” [Detroit Free Press column, Dickerson, 1/16/16]
MLive.Com Editorial: Feeble Flint Investigation “Has Us Questioning Whether Attorney General Bill Schuette Is On Duty For The People Of Michigan Or For His Political Allies.” In January 2016, MLive.com editorial took issue with Schuette’s investigation: “The state’s latest feeble attempt at an investigation into the Flint water crisis has us questioning whether Attorney General Bill Schuette is on duty for the people of Michigan or for his political allies.” [MLive.com editorial, 2/1/16]
Bill Schuette fought to allow Michigan to slash $4 million from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. As a result, the home was understaffed, the quality of care declined, and cases of abuse and neglect were covered up.
For 3 years, Schuette ignored calls to investigate the conditions at the Grand Rapids veterans home. When veterans complained of the conditions, Bill Schuette said they were “free to leave.”
When Michigan veterans were suffering, Schuette was off duty.
In 2011, Schuette Criticized Veterans Home Residents Who Sued to Stop Potential Harm From Privatization. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Schuette defended the state when veteran Tony Spallone, a resident of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, sued in 2011 to stop the privatization of nursing aide jobs at the home. The state said the move would save $4 million a year, but Spallone and other residents said it would leave them in the care of poorly trained nursing aides who experienced high turnover because of low wages, and in some cases injured veterans through neglect or incompetence. […] Among the arguments put forward by Schuette’s office was that ‘residency at the home is completely voluntary, and the residents are free to leave at any time they wish.’” [Detroit Free Press, 6/17/16]
In February 2016, State Auditor Report Found Veterans Home Understaffed and Conditions Deteriorated After Privatization. According to the Detroit Free Press, “After privatization of the nursing aide positions was completed in 2013, the issue continued to bubble up for years but never got the attention of the administration until February, when a state auditor general’s report documented chronic understaffing at the home, false paperwork to cover up a lack of proper monitoring of the veterans, and mishandling of abuse and neglect complaints.” [Detroit Free Press, 6/17/16]
In February 2016, Schuette Launched Investigation Days After Auditor Report was Released. According to MLive.com, “Schuette encouraged witnesses or victims of mistreatment over the past several years to come forward with information to help an ongoing investigation into patient treatment. ‘If you, or someone you know, were a resident of the Home, or spent time visiting and witnessed potentially criminal misconduct, I encourage you to contact my office immediately,’ he said in a statement. The Health Care Fraud Division began investigating on Feb. 23, days after a Michigan Auditor General report alleged veterans were not being properly cared for. The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two State of Michigan run homes for veterans.” [MLive.com, 5/25/16]
Bill Schuette was elected as Attorney General on a promise to protect Michigan taxpayers’ dollars. Instead, he frittered away taxpayer dollars on wasteful political lawsuits in attempt to advance his own political career.
Michigan editorials wrote that Schuette was “wasting the state’s energy and resources” on partisan lawsuits, turning the Office of the Attorney General “into a lobby for partisan causes.” When it comes to protecting Michigan taxpayers, Bill Schuette was off duty.
Detroit Free Press Editorial: Schuette was “Anything But” the People’s Lawyer, Turned AG’s Office “Into a Lobby for Partisan Causes.” In October 2014, the Detroit Free Press editorial board argued, “In 2010, Bill Schuette campaigned for Michigan’s top law enforcement post with a promise to be ‘the people’s lawyer.’ He’s been anything but in his first term, turning the Attorney General’s Office into a lobby for partisan causes.” The board noted, “Few candidates have seen state government from as many angles as Schuette, who has been a state legislator, state agriculture director, a congressman and an appellate court judge. Four years ago, when he succeeded the term-limited Mike Cox in the Republicans’ sweep of Michigan’s statewide offices, we had reason to hope that Schuette would exploit that broad experience to become an effective attorney general. Instead, he has used his office primarily to promote conservative causes and sabotage federal initiatives that he opposes” [Detroit Free Press editorial, 10/30/14]
Michigan Chronicle Editorial: Schuette “Put Partisanship Before the Law.” In October 2014, the Michigan Chronicle did not endorse Schuette’s reelection arguing, “Schuette’s insistence on using taxpayer dollars to challenge the legality of the Obamacare law before the U.S. Supreme Court was nothing but partisanship on display. His insistence on challenging affirmative action was also divisive and uncalled for given the impact that affirmative action has on African Americans, Latino and other students of color. Though Schuette has rightfully tackled sex trafficking and cracked down on crime syndicates, his willingness to put partisanship before the law as displayed in the affirmative action and Obamacare cases gives us pause about a second term for him.” [Michigan Chronicle, 10/29/14]
MLive Editorial on Schuette: “It’s Time to Stop Wasting the State’s Energy and Resources” on “Ideological Crusades.” According to the MLive Editorial Board, “Schuette has become his own worst enemy in his pursuit of ideological crusades in the name of upholding the state constitution. In the most glaring example, Schuette went too far in continuing his fight to preserve a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage even as it became clear that courts were taking a different direction and the 2004 voter-approved amendment no longer reflected the views of the Michigan populace. If voters grant him another term, he needs to drop the fight against gay marriage. It’s time to stop wasting the state’s energy and resources on this partisan cause, and broaden his emphasis on consumer advocacy, prison reform and environmental protections.” [MLive editorial, 10/23/14]