CORUNNA, Mich. — Elected officials in a Michigan county gave themselves $65,000 in bonuses with federal reduction money associated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money, described as “hazard pay,” integrated $25,000 for Jeremy Root, chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners.
The largely rural county, between Lansing and Flint, has a inhabitants of 68,000.
Commissioners — all Republicans — final week voted to award more than $500,000 to dozens of county workers. It ranged from $25,000 for directors to $2,000 for cleaning workers. All recipients got no much less than $1,000.
Moreover Root, commissioners John Plowman and Brandon Marks every obtained $10,000, and the opposite four commissioners got $5,000 every.
Most commissioners are paid $10,000 a year for their part-time job, plus a stipend for conferences.
“I suspect that I earned it,” Commissioner Cindy Garber acknowledged of the bonus. “I work the truth is arduous at this job. I was right here in-person all the intention via this loopy year.”
Commissioner Marlene Webster acknowledged she used to be “mortified” when money looked in her checking memoir and didn’t know she had voted to reward herself.
“I’m giving the money befriend,” Webster suggested WILX-TV. “I suspect one commissioner is giving it to a nonprofit so these actions reveal that we the truth is didn’t know this money used to be coming to us.”
A message seeking comment from Root wasn’t directly returned Thursday.
Meanwhile, Nichole Ruggiero of Owosso filed a lawsuit to envision up on to rescind some bonuses, claiming commissioners violated Michigan’s launch conferences law after they went into closed session to discuss the money, The Argus-Press reported.
“The self-importance of this board is bizarre,” Ruggiero acknowledged.
The hazard pay used to be extended to other elected county officials, including Sheriff Brian BeGole, who got $25,000, and prosecutor Scott Koerner, who obtained $12,500.
The county administrator, Brian Boggs, who obtained $25,000, acknowledged the point of hobby on commissioners used to be overshadowing an effort to reduction county workers.
“It used to be to the attend of the workers,” he acknowledged of the bonuses, “and in all likelihood we may maybe perhaps well in all probability soundless no longer pursue other suggestions cherish this to safe them further funding if this is how it’s going to be obtained.”
Garber acknowledged the spacious fee for Root used to be justified because he “bears the burden of all emergency orders.”
Stephan Currie, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties, or MAC, acknowledged the neighborhood works carefully with counties about exhaust federal virus-associated cash.
“We are no longer privy to any other counties obsessed with payments to elected officials, and MAC has no longer equipped any steerage or advice to enact so. … Decisions, on the opposite hand, in the conclude leisure with the county’s board of commissioners in every county,” Currie suggested MLive.com.