1. Home
  2. /
  3. Politics
  4. /
  5. Article
  6. /
  7. Former Michigan House Leader...

Former Michigan House Leader and Wife Charged for Financial Misconduct

Lee Chatfield, the former leader of the Michigan House, and his wife Stephanie Chatfield, have been charged with financial crimes. 

They are being accused of misusing political funds for their own benefit. 

These charges were announced on Tuesday, a significant development in the ongoing investigation.

The Attorney General, Dana Nessel, has stated that Lee Chatfield is accused of misusing various political funds, including the Peninsula Fund, which served as an “unregulated slush fund.” 

Read More: Iranian Strike on Israel Could Disrupt Putin’s Ukraine Plans, Weaken Russia’s Position

Credit: DepositPhotos

The allegations suggest that the Chatfields utilized these funds for personal expenses, such as travel and housing, while Lee Chatfield was in a position of political power.

Nessel has provided information on the monetary dealings, specifically mentioning that Lee Chatfield’s political funds had accumulated over $5 million in six years. 

Furthermore, it was revealed that he had amassed more than $2 million in 2020 alone, which was his final year as Speaker of the House.

If convicted, Lee Chatfield could face severe penalties as the charges against him include conducting a criminal enterprise and embezzlement.

Mary Chartier, Lee Chatfield’s attorney, has promised to strongly dispute the charges, questioning the timing of the allegations and suggesting that the case may lack substantial evidence. 

Also Read: Biden Refuses US Involvement in Israeli Counter-Offensive Against Iran

Credits: DepositPhotos

Meanwhile, Stephanie Chatfield is facing charges of embezzlement, but her lawyer, Matt Newburg, hasn’t yet responded to requests for comment.

Nessel has expressed concern over the misuse of “dark money” political funds, citing the Peninsula Fund as an example of the system’s exploitation. 

She has expressed her disapproval of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, stating that it is not effective in preventing such offenses.

Michigan’s Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, has advocated for expanding financial disclosure laws in the state. 

Benson has joined the call for greater financial transparency to ensure that political activities are conducted ethically and lawfully.

Read Next: Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Cement Alliance, Navigate Economic Differences Amid China’s Rise

Credits: DepositPhotos

According to Benson, the charges against the Chatfields underscore the urgency of enacting stricter anti-corruption measures.

The investigation into Lee Chatfield’s activities began in 2022 after the allegations of sexual assault made by his sister-in-law. 

While the attorney general acknowledged the lack of evidence to pursue charges based on those claims, she commended the accuser for coming forward, noting the broader implications of her testimony.

In an associated development, two former aides to Lee Chatfield were charged last year with crimes, including embezzlement from nonprofit funds established for political purposes. 

Rob and Anne Minard, who served under Chatfield during his tenure as House leader, have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.