County Aggressively Used Federal Funds

County Aggressively Used Federal Funds

Coulter: County Aggressively Used Federal Funds In 2020 Pandemic Response

Pontiac, Michigan – Oakland County is utilizing all its $219 million received in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in support of its pandemic response this year. This included more than $145 million in grants to help stabilize and support small businesses, residents, and communities in every part of the county. The grants have been awarded to more than 15,000 local businesses, which employ 65,000 people; 22 local chambers of commerce; 57 cities, villages, and townships, 278 non-profit and 31 veterans services organizations; 28 local school districts as well as retailers, restaurants, community centers, and more.

“Working with the Board of Commissioners we acted early to support our residents and businesses and never took our foot off the gas to ensure the federal funds received by Oakland County were fully utilized in our pandemic response.” County Executive David Coulter said. “It is vital that these efforts continue in 2021 as the challenge of vaccination delivery and economic recovery remain front and center.”

In 2020, Oakland County was among the most impacted in Michigan by confirmed coronavirus cases. Total confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 53,000 in the county with at least 1,468 deaths and more than 40,000 recoveries. The first cases were reported to the county on March 10. Nearly 75 percent of the confirmed positive cases were below the age of 60. About 64 percent of the deaths were 60 years old and above. Fifty-two percent of the positive cases were female while over 53 percent of deaths were male. Oakland County has maintained a dashboard throughout the pandemic and maps of community spread.

The seven-day average for confirmed cases in the first wave reached a high of 296 cases per day on April 6. Over the summer the seven day average hit its lowest point of nine cases per day on June 16. The cases began to surge again in the fall and peaked at a seven-day average of 809 cases per day on November 20. It has trended downward since, currently at a seven-day average of 206 cases per day as of December 29, because most residents and businesses have implemented the safety measures during the State of Michigan’s Pause to Save Lives.

Oakland County’s test positivity rate is down to 8.09 percent as of Christmas week, down from a high of 13.6 percent the week of November 14 – November 20.

“The data show that we are able to better manage the pandemic when people wear masks, avoid large gatherings, wash their hands, and stay home while symptomatic,” Coulter said.

Since the first shipment of 1,950 COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the county from Pfizer-BioNTech in mid-December, more than 800 emergency medical service personnel have received their first dose. The next shipment of doses is expected this week.

Early in the pandemic, there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Coulter put out the call for public donations. That combined with the county’s emergency declaration which made purchasing materials more efficient enabled the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to source PPE from near and far. The EOC acquired over 1.3 million N95/KN95 masks, more than 1 million gowns/lab jackets, 141,000-plus face shields, about 50,000 boxes of medical gloves, and nearly 60,000 boxes of non-medical gloves. The county distributed the PPE to first responders, hospitals, long-term care facilities, local governments, other medical offices, schools, and more. Overall, the EOC responded to 8,000 requests for resources from the county, local government, and other entities.

Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse on Call hotline received nearly 86,000 COVID-related phone calls and over 2,600 COVID-related emails throughout the pandemic in 2020. The Nurse on Call hotline also was the epicenter for scheduling appointments at one of the Health Division’s drive-through testing locations which included Southfield, Pontiac, Novi, and Farmington Hills. The Health Division swabbed more than 31,000 COVID-19 tests at its drive-through testing sites in 2020, which is just over half the total testing the Health Division conducted throughout the county.

Oakland County provided over $770,000 in food assistance beginning early in the pandemic. Programs included a restaurant to shelter food program, support of Lighthouse’s USDA Farmers to Families boxes, supplying meals for healthcare workers and first responders in the hardest hit communities, advising on the Pontiac Restaurant Brigade, cooperative efforts with mycovidresponse.org, and more. From the beginning of the pandemic through June 1, Oakland County fed 700 homeless and at-risk individuals two meals a day. In addition, the county has been providing 200 meals a day at homeless shelters since August.

Oakland County Michigan Works! (OCMW) has received over 475,000 telephone calls and helped resolve over 46,000 unemployment issues. The OCMW team supported 123 companies and organizations with layoff support for their impacted employees. They also held 12 virtual career workshops to help job seekers with their employment searches. In addition, OCMW hosted the first virtual job fair featuring over 50 employers with over 1,000 current job openings.

Despite the pandemic, OCMW continued to launch grant training programs for hundreds of job seekers to earn industry-recognized credentials and transition careers. This includes a $375,000 grant to retrain retail workers, a $405,000 grant to retrain workers impacted by COVID, and a $100,000 grant to create apprenticeship opportunities. Plus, OCMW provided outreach for the State’s Futures for Frontliners program.

The county executive reached thousands of residents via multiple telephone town hall meetings to provide the latest updates about COVID-19. Residents also were able to ask the county’s public health professionals questions. Also, throughout the pandemic, the county executive aired public service announcements connecting residents with county resources. Finally, the county implemented an aggressive marketing campaign called “The only way to beat it is to face it” which leveraged celebrities and influencers to promote wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands in order to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Oakland County would not have accomplished all of this without the support of the Board of Commissioners, county and local elected officials, residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal partners,” Coulter said. “A special thank you goes to county employees who kept services running throughout the pandemic.”

Below is a summary of CARES Act grants approved by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and dispersed by the Oakland County Executive. For more details on the grants, click here.

Small Businesses

 

  • $32 Million Grant Fund to assist 3,153 retail, restaurants, and other businesses
  • $14 Million Stabilization Fund for 3,500 small business
  • $11 Million Michigan Small Business Restart Grant helped nearly 3,000 Oakland County businesses including minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • $10 Million Oakland Together Restaurant Relief Program for about 785 restaurants.
  • $10 Million Industry 4.0 PPE Resilience Grants Program approved grants for 235 businesses.
  • $1 Million to 23 companies who shifted production to personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, and face shields.
  • 15,000 Small Business Reopening Kits which contained PPE.

Government and School Partners

 

  • $29 Million-plus for 57 cities, villages, and townships
  • $27.6 Million for 41 school districts and public-school academies
  • $3 Million to hire 64 school nurses to work with local school districts.
  • $2.8 Million for 52 libraries, senior centers, and community centers
  • $1 Million for the Road Commission for Oakland County
  • $500,000 each for Oakland University, Oakland Community College and Oakland Schools
  • In addition, the county utilized $64 million to ensure county operations were safe for residents and employees, including hazard pay, tele-work capabilities, and social distancing and health screening precautions throughout the county campus.

Community Partners

 

  • $10.7 Million for 88 non-profit organizations to serve vulnerable populations during the pandemic.
  • $2 Million-plus to 78 of our Cultural Institutions and organizations
  • $2 Million-plus to support 374 childcare providers in Oakland County
  • Nearly $2 Million for 126 non-profits hard hit economically
  • $600,000 for Oakland County Health Network to purchase tablets to assist clients with telehealth services
  • Support for Havenwyck Hospital and Honor Community Health
  • $600,000 for 31 veterans service organizations
  • Over $2,8 Million to Oakland County Skilled Nursing home facilities
  • A $150,000 pilot with American House to offer Echo share devices to connect elderly residents with family members
  • A $300,000 pilot with St. Joseph Hospital and Honor Community health to provide childcare for essential workers with school-aged kids.
  • $57,000 to local youth assistance programs throughout the county.

Residents

  • 6,000 individuals received $750 in a microgrant to help with basic expenses.
  • $1 Million in rent, mortgage, and utility assistance for 250 households.
  • $1 Million Military Service Fund for Oakland County veterans and dependents
  • $215,508 to help support 120 local musicians
  • Over 5,000 free meal delivery subscriptions provided to senior citizens.
  • Oakland County Michigan Works! launched financial coaching for Oakland County residents in partnership with the Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency. The program has assisted dozens of residents with assessing their financial wellness and meeting their short and long term financial goals.
Bill Allows Collegiate Athletes to Receive Compensation

Bill Allows Collegiate Athletes to Receive Compensation

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 30, 2020

Contact: Press@michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer Signs Bills Allowing Collegiate Athletes tReceive Compensation for the First Time In Michigan History 

 

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation today allowing student athletes to use their own name, image, likeness, and reputation for financial compensation. This marks the first time in Michigan history that collegiate athletes will have the opportunity to financially benefit from the countless hours they commit to their sport while attending school.

 

“For years we have all enjoyed the incredible talent of young athletes across the state. This legislation will change the lives of young men and women for years to come,” said Governor Whitmer. “As one of the first states in the nation to pass this historic legislation, I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation today on behalf of our current and future student athletes. I am hopeful that the NCAA will set a national standard so that all players across the country are afforded the same opportunities.  As always stay safe and go green!”

 

“It’s high time that collegiate players are respected and compensated for the talents that they’ve spent their entire lives trying to perfect,” said Joique Bell, former running back with the Detroit Lions and Wayne State University. “I’ve always supported the efforts to protect the best interests of athletes, especially those with tremendous abilities who play at all levels of the NCAA. Working two jobs, going to school full time, playing football and raising my son is a lot for any person, especially financially. My story is just one of many for collegiate student athletes. We need to continually find ways to help student athletes get ahead and build their brands early, while also protecting the players and the integrity of the sport.”

 

“At its core, this legislation is to ensure student-athletes in Michigan are treated fairly and they are able to have fulfilling college experience. I am proud of the opportunity to work on getting this legislation across the finish line,” said Representative Joe Tate.

 

House Bill 5217 prohibits post-secondary educational institutions from enforcing rules that prohibit student athletes from profiting from promotional deals. Students may earn compensation for their name, image, or likeness, and could not be prevented from playing intercollegiate sports or receiving scholarships because of doing so. The bill was sponsored by Representative Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo).

 

House Bill 5218 repeals a section of the Penal Code which prohibits athletic agents from inducing students into contracts before their eligibility for college athletics expires. The bill also repeals a section of the Revised Judicature Act which creates civil liability for interfering with the “prospective advantage” given by an institution of higher education by virtue of its relationship with the student athlete, by promising an improper gift or service to the athlete, if that gift results in injury to the school. The bill was sponsored by Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit).

 

The bills allow players from any sport in all divisions to use agents to earn money from their own image, name, or likeness. However, students cannot enter into an apparel contract that conflicts with the apparel contracts of their school, and must disclose contracts to their school prior to signing. The bills do not establish the right for students to use trademarked names, symbols, intellectual property, and logos of schools, associations, or conferences.

 

Michigan is among one of the first states to pass and sign legislation surrounding the compensation of student athletes. Governor Whitmer has called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to set a national standard so that all states can follow in Michigan’s footsteps and create a consistent framework for student athletes across the country.

 

HB 5217 and 5218 will take effect on December 31, 2022, except for a reporting requirement in Section 9 which has been given immediate effect.

 

Governor Whitmer Reflects on 2020 

Governor Whitmer Reflects on 2020 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 31, 2020

Contact: Press@Michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer Reflects on 2020

The governor looks ahead to eliminating COVID-19 once and for all and growing Michigan’s economy

 

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a video on social media reflecting on the unprecedented events and accomplishments of 2020. Throughout 2020 the governor has remained focused on her top priorities: protecting public health, creating paths to good jobs and protecting the economy, rebuilding Michigan roads, ensuring every child can get a great education safely, cleaning up our drinking water, and social justice reform.

 

 

“As I think about 2020, the phrase annus horribilis comes to mind, which means a horrible year. But it wasn’t all horrible, cause some really good things happened this year and there are sources of inspiration no matter where you look,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we go into 2021, it is my hope we get our economy back up and humming, we get our kids back in school, and that we put Michigan on the path to real prosperity. I think we are up to it. I know we are up to it. And I’m excited at the prospect of a new year and a new chapter for all of us.”

 

Throughout 2020, Governor Whitmer has guided Michigan through the gravest health crisis the state and the country have faced in over 100 years. Through swift and decisive leadership, the governor saved thousands of lives and protected the pocketbooks of hardworking Michiganders.

 

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Whitmer and her administration have worked around the clock to ensure benefits for Michiganders who have lost work because of the virus. Since March 15, Governor Whitmer’s administration has paid nearly $27 billion in benefits to nearly 2.3 million workers.

 

Early on in the pandemic, COVID-19 shined a light on the disparities communities of color face every single day. Governor Whitmer stepped up to create the COVID-19 Task Force on Racial Disparities in April. Because of the leadership and hard work of the task force Michigan has successfully reduced the spread of COVID-19 in communities of color, saving countless lives.

 

The governor also signed the historic “Clean Slate” legislation to reform Michigan’s criminal expungement laws making it easier for people who have committed certain felonies and misdemeanors to have their record expunged.

 

After the country saw righteous protests demanding we address the inequities in our country, the governor and her administration got to work. She signed an Executive Directive declaring racism as a public health crisis and created Michigan’s first Black Advisory Council. To create a government that is more representative of the diversity of the great state of Michigan, the governor created the first ever Equity and Inclusion Officer position in the Executive Office. Her administration also made changes to the commission that sets the standards for our law enforcement agencies to ensure more community leaders and the Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights have a seat at the table when making decisions

 

Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, Governor Whitmer stayed focused on providing paths to good-paying jobs to make our economy stronger and fixing the roads.

 

The governor launched the first of it’s kind Futures for Frontliners program that provides a path to opportunity for frontline workers who worked on our behalf during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of right now, more than 100,000 deserving Michiganders have applied. Today is the last day to apply for the program. To apply visit www.michigan.gov/frontliners/.

 

During her State of the State address in January 2020, the governor introduced the $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan Bonding Plan to fix the damn roads without an increase at the gas pump and ensure more Michiganders can drive to work safely. In November, the Michigan Department of Transportation completed the I-496 Rebuilding Michigan project creating safer roads for our families and frontline workers.

 

Michigan is defined by the Great Lakes, and Governor Whitmer continued to protect Michigan’s climate and expand access to clean water throughout the year. Through the MI Healthy Climate Plan, the governor established goals to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality no later than 2050 and created the Council on Climate Solutions to advise and oversee the implementation of the plan.

 

The governor also announced the investment of $500 million as part of her MI Clean Water Plan to invest in Michigan’s water systems from source to tap. The plan provides direct investments for communities, helps provide safe, clean water to residents, and will support over 7,500 Michigan jobs.

 

Yesterday, the governor signed bipartisan Senate Bills 1251 and 1252 creating the Flint Settlement Trust Fund within the Michigan Department of Treasury to address the funding of the $641.2 million settlement in the civil Flint Water cases that was negotiated this fall. Although the governor inherited this situation, she and Attorney General Dana Nessel have taken the responsibility to achieve the best possible settlement for the children and families of Flint.

 

Amidst a global pandemic and country wide economic crisis, the governor worked across the aisle to ensure there were no cuts to our public education system and included a weighted funding formula that provides crucial support to students and districts that need it most, including funding for special education and at-risk students.

Whitmer Signs a Series of Bills Into Law 

Whitmer Signs a Series of Bills Into Law 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 30, 2020

Contact: Press@michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer Signs a Series of Bills Into Law

 

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed and vetoed a series of bills today. The bills are outlined below.

 

Bill

Description 

Sponsor

Signed Bills 

Amends the Occupational Code to allow a one-time extension to the license cycle for real estate professionals, for the purpose of continuing education requirements.

Rep. Thomas Albert (R- Lowell)

Amends the Support and Parenting Time Enforcement Act to abate, or suspend, child support responsibilities if the payer will be incarcerated for at least 180 consecutive days and will not have the ability to pay the support.

Senator John Bizon (R- Battle Creek)

Amends the Friend of the Court Act to add a new section that requires monthly support payment be abated, by operation of law, when the parent becomes incarcerated for 180 days or more and has no ability to pay support.

Senator John Bizon (R- Battle Creek)

Creates an appeals board within the Michigan Veterans Facility Authority (MVFA) to hear appeals regarding admissions decisions, involuntary dismissals, and requests for interment. Membership on this board would first be offered to the current members of the board of managers, who currently oversee Michigan veteran homes and facilities.

Senator Winnie Brinks (D- Grand Rapids)

Modifies the Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority to repeal all remaining statutes in Chapter 36 of the MCL, thereby dissolving the Michigan Veterans’ Facilities Board of Managers.

Senator Tom Barrett (R- Charlotte)

Amends the General Property Tax Act to provide businesses with a one-year reprieve by freezing the location of all personal property (i.e. computers, printers, and other equipment) being used by remote workers and assessing it at the business’s ordinary location for the 2021 tax year.

Senator Jim Runestad (R- White Lake)

Allows a city to enter into a public-private agreement for a public bridge.

Senator Ken Horn (R- Frankenmuth)

Specifies that if a county board of commissioners previously approved the construction of a bridge across a navigable stream in the county, then any reconstruction, renovation, or replacement of that bridge will not require county approval.

Senator Ken Horn (R- Frankenmuth)

Exempts all real and personal property constituting a public bridge facility from the collection of taxes under the act.

Senator Jeremy Moss (D- Southfield)

Adds property that qualifies as a public bridge facility used by a concessionaire under a public-private agreement to the list of taxation exemptions.

Senator Wayne Schmidt (R- Traverse City)

Provides that current provisions govern certain circumstances regarding when a governmental agency can pay for, engage, or furnish the services of an attorney.

Senator Tom Barrett (R- Charlotte)

Amends the Small Wireless Communications Facilities Deployment Act to create a definition for “county road commission” and to include the term within the definition of “authority.”

Senator Dan Lauwers (R- Brockway)

Requires financial institutions to implement a policy for training employees to recognize signs of covered financial exploitation and for reporting that activity to a law enforcement agency or Adult Protective Services.

Senator Pete Lucido (R- Shelby Twp.)

Amends the Social Welfare Act to allow a county department of social services to notify a financial institution of the status of a report of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation that was made by that financial institution.

Senator Pete Lucido (R- Shelby Twp.)

Amends the Income Tax Act to restore the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.

Senator Wayne Schmidt (R- Traverse City)

Amends the Social Welfare Act to make the act’s FOIA provisions subject to the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act.

Senator Pete Lucido (R- Shelby Twp.)

Allows a person to hold an on-premises tasting room permit and an off-premises tasting room license in conjunction at the same location under certain conditions.

Senator Kim LaSata (R- Bainbridge Twp.)

Changes definitions and provisions pertaining to those who build, repair, or maintain residential structures.

Senator Ed McBroom (R- Vulcan)

Allows certain counties that meet listed population parameters to establish an event center financing program under the Regional Event Center Financing Act.

 

Rep. Brandt Iden (R- Oshtemo Twp.)

Vetoed Bills

Would join Michigan to the interstate Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), taking away the state’s authority to regulate the nursing profession. Click here to view the veto letter.

Rep. Mary Whiteford (R- Casco Twp.)

Would authorize the use of unattended self-service fuel pumps, and significantly restrict the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ ability to regulate safety. Click here to view the veto letter.

Rep. Beau LaFave (R- Iron Mountain)

Would extend the definition of a historical vehicle to include a military surplus vehicle that is over 25 years old, thereby allowing those vehicles to be used on public streets and roads. Click here to view the veto letter.

Rep. Steve Johnson (R- Wayland)

Would create the Misrepresentation of Emotional Support Animals Act, which would create additional requirements for individuals seeking reasonable accommodation for emotional support animals. Click here to view the veto letter.

Rep. Matt Hall (R- Emmett Twp.)

Would amend the Revised Judicature Act to allow a housing provider to recover possession of a premises by summary proceedings after termination of a lease under the proposed Misrepresentation of Emotional Support Animals Act. Click here to view the veto letter.

Rep. Sarah

Attorney General Recaps Busy 2020

Attorney General Recaps Busy 2020

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Media Contacts:

Courtney Covington
(c) 517-290-1560

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

Michigan Attorney General Nessel Recaps Busy 2020

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has been busy the past 12 months, negotiating historic settlements, filing significant lawsuits, investigating serious threats and protecting consumers from an array of scams and deceptive business practices.

As 2020 comes to a close, the boisterous election cycle very likely remains fresh in the collective conscious, but other significant events – such as the lawsuit filed against major PFAS manufacturers or the $80 million settlement reached in Doe et al v. Michigan Department of Corrections – also rank among milestone events coming out of the Michigan Department of Attorney General in 2020.

“This year has been marked by a multitude of actions taken by my office and on behalf of other state departments, and I am extremely proud and grateful for the exemplary work performed by everyone at the Michigan Department of Attorney General,” Nessel said. “While COVID-19 has presented logistical complications and new difficulties in enforcing our laws, my staff has risen to meet those challenges squarely in pursuit of justice on behalf of the people of this state. I am encouraged by the accomplishments we have achieved in 2020 and eagerly anticipate furthering those efforts as we look forward to 2021.”

A brief round-up of some notable events follows:

Important Investigations   

Important Settlements  

  • Flint Civil Litigation – The largest settlement in the State of Michigan’s history was submitted to the court for preliminary approval after being announced in August. The State and other defendants have agreed to contribute $641.2 million to settle the litigation that was filed after the city of Flint switched its public water supply to the Flint River in 2014. Judge Judith Levy of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan reviewed the agreement as part of a motion for preliminary approval, and may issue a ruling on whether the settlement meets certain legal standards in January.
  • Doe et al v Michigan Department of Corrections – An $80 million settlement was announced in February for the class-action lawsuit filed by 1,300 youthful prisoners. The juveniles alleged they were victims of sexual assaults, and various other harms, while they were housed in adult prisons under the custody of the MDOC after being charged, convicted and sentenced as adults under Michigan law.
  • Hill v. Whitmer – In conjunction with the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Attorney General’s office settled this class action arising out of the resentencing of juveniles sentenced to mandatory life-without-parole sentences (LWOP) in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama. Under Miller, offenders who were sentenced to LWOP were entitled to a hearing designed to consider their youth at the time of the offense along with other factors to determine if a LWOP was appropriate. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a LWOP would only be appropriate in the most extreme cases. The Michigan Legislature enacted a series of statutes that provided for specific minimum terms if the trial court did not resentence the offender to a LWOP and also prohibited the application of good time and disciplinary credits. The Hill class challenged the statute prohibiting the application of credits and also sought  programming for those offenders waiting for resentencing and to set a schedule for the Miller hearings to be completed. On Nov. 6, the court approved a settlement that provided for the Hill class members to be eligible for programming, a timeline to notify the trial court that the prosecutors were ready to proceed with the Miller hearings, and for the Attorney General to provide assistance to the local prosecutors in charge of the resentencing hearings.

Important Lawsuits  

Consumer Protection  

Election Integrity and Safety  

  • Lawsuits – Prior to the election, Attorney General Nessel sued the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to ensure mail-in ballots were being properly processed and delivered after operational changes instituted by the USPS could have resulted in a significant number of mail-in ballots not being counted. A federal judge stopped those operational changes from continuing, ensuring mail-in ballots would be handled appropriately by the USPS. In defense of the procedures undertaken by Secretary Benson and election officials, Attorney General Nessel’s office helped defend against the numerous legal challenges filed, which made unverified and unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud. While some cases are ongoing, an overwhelming majority have been dismissed, withdrawn or otherwise failed in the courts. In one case, the state of Texas sued Michigan and other battleground states in an attempt to overturn election results. The lawsuit fell short of being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Security – While there were a number of attempts to thwart the will of the people, the Attorney General’s office was ready to defend democracy at every turn. One highlight involves a series of robocalls that targeted Detroit-area voters seeking to intimidate them from participating in the election by use of mail-in ballots. The Attorney General’s office launched an investigation and charged Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl with multiple felonies. They have since been bound over on all four counts and the case remains pending in Wayne County Circuit Court. The Attorney General has also taken action to investigate the few credible reports of fraud received and prosecute those found to have occurred, while also working to investigate threats made to election officials.
  • Education – Working in tandem with Secretary of State Benson to ensure a safe and secure election, Attorney General Nessel’s office aggressively protected the integrity of the democratic process while informing the public of their voting rights by hosting town hall events, informational calls and more.

“I am thoroughly impressed and equally grateful for the fair and responsible journalists who have covered these many important topics and, considering the challenging circumstances, have informed their readers and viewers with accurate and reliable information,” Nessel said. “Throughout the ongoing pandemic and turbulent election cycle, many Michigan journalists have been able to sift through the misinformation and disingenuous spin to find the truth, and they have upheld their role as the people’s watchdog.”

More information about the Michigan Department of Attorney General can be found on its website and by browsing the news releases posted online.

For more information on specific cases and actions, contact the Attorney General’s media email.