Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her administration are being accused of burning notes and destroying emails related to a COVID-19 investigation that was brought about against the City of Port Huron for violating state rules.
The Detroit News reported that Inspector Matthew Hartman of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) fined the City of Port Huron $6,300 after a July 21 visit due to a complaint. Hartman allegedly fined the city despite the fact that he hadn’t witnessed “anyone not wearing a mask” or “violating” coronavirus rules.
Hartman’s only defense was that “employees he interviewed saw violations.”
The city is fighting back by claiming the fines were unlawful because the Michigan Supreme Court previously ruled that Whitmer’s executive orders related to the enforced rule were unconstitutional.
During questioning in a deposition by a city attorney, Hartman was asked what he did with the notes he took during this investigation. Shockingly, he admitted that he burned them, and that he destroyed emails from his supervisor related to the case.
“So it sounds like the measure, the standard that you were measuring employers by, though, was the specific language of the executive orders in determining whether or not there was a general duty clause violation, true?” Hartman was asked in the deposition.
“I would say that’s true, yes,” he replied.
Port Huron’s city manager Manager James Freed is now calling for MIOSHA to be investigated over this after the state charged Port Huron $20,000, just to repeal the case.
“My heart breaks for all the small businesses and mom-and-pops that didn’t have an expert legal team, who didn’t have the resources to put MIOSHA under oath,” Freed lamented.
The Michigan Freedom Fund is now calling for Whitmer to apologize and rescind every MIOSHA fine and order related to her COVID-19 orders, according to IOSCO News.
“During her campaign for governor, Whitmer promised to make state government more open, transparent, and accountable. Instead, the culture she has created empowers and allows officials to burn documents and delete emails,” said MFF Executive Director Tori Sachs. “The destruction of documents and emails should be fully investigated and Whitmer should reveal what her administration is trying to cover up.”
Michigan GOP Communications Director Gustavo Portela is demanding a full investigation into what happened here.
“It’s very clear Gretchen Whitmer and her administration abandoned transparency, a key part of her campaign promise to Michiganders,” Gustavo said. “She not only failed to follow the rules everyone else was forced to follow, but now we find out her administration has been disposing of important documents related to COVID fines. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration must be investigated because Michiganders deserve answers.”