M. KARMASEK, LEGAL NEWSLINE
FEBRUARY 11, 2011
LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) -Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
announced on Thursday that he has created a new Public Integrity Unit to
"ratchet up" the fight against corruption in state and local government.
The unit will also protect tax dollars and restore the public's trust in
government, says Schuette, in his first year as attorney general.
"Corruption scandals have damaged the public's trust in government and left
Michigan with a national reputation as a place where businesses wonder who they
have to pay off before creating a job," Schuette said in a statement.
"Today, we are turning up the heat on corruption in Michigan. There will be no
Schuette, in his announcement, noted that current Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has
done a "solid job" restoring public trust. However, the ongoing fallout from the
Detroit corruption scandals and other issues have damaged Michigan's reputation
as a place to create jobs, he said.
As residents struggle to maintain employment in Michigan's poor economy, it is
"vital" to ensure their hard-earned tax dollars are not being lost to
corruption, Schuette said.
Acknowledging the state's tough budget situation, the attorney general said the
unit is being created without additional spending, but by reallocating existing
resources in the Attorney General's Office.
The Public Integrity Unit, he explained, will allow the office to put an
increased focus on public corruption cases currently handled by its Criminal
Division -- a priority Schuette identified after taking office last month.
Schuette said he expects the unit to work closely with local, state and federal
law enforcement to uncover and prosecute crimes at all levels of state and local