Skubick: “Cronyism” claims over new legislative office building

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Democrats are moving around the state complaining about a new $134 million office building for state senators and claiming that it’s a waste of your tax dollars.

State senators currently have offices in a downtown building but after the first of the year they’ll be moving into new digs one block down the road.

The Capitol View project has brought continual complaints from Democrats.

They complain about the $134 million cost, and they argue there was an alleged “pay for play” deal engineered by former Senator Republican leader Randy Richardville with the owner of the Capitol View who made contributions to Senate Republicans.

“It’s hard to conclude that it wasn’t rigged in favor of somebody who showered these elected officials with financial gifts and now he’s showering them with luxury office spaces,” insisted Michigan Democratic Party chairman Brandon Dillon.

Legislative Democrats have asked the state attorney general to investigate the deal but he’s declined.

So Democrat Representative Scott Dianda has asked the U.S. attorney general’s office to get involved.

Apparently they did. “Two FBI agents contacted me for all my documents,” said Rep. Dianda.

It is unclear if the FBI will investigate.

Meanhile a Senate Republican who voted “no” on the project is asking his own questions.

“I don’t like it,” claimed Sen. Rick Jones. “I would rather repair the building that I’m in and again I voted no.”

When asked if he’s looking into any wrong doing Sen. Jones, a former sheriff, replied “not that I’m aware of but I’m looking into everything.”

Current Senate Republican Leader Arlan Meekhof, who endorses this deal, would not comment. He turned that over to his media spokesperson.

“The Capitol View project went through a competitive bidding process, there was an RFP, it was thoroughly vetted, and the building the Senate currently occupies is a very old building,” explains Amber McCann.

When asked if everything was on the “up and up” McCann replied “yes it was and all the records have been made available to the public and to the press for review.”

Mr. Dillon says not true.

Senators will move in after the first of the year.

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