LANSING, Michigan (AP) – The Michigan Republican Party and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office have reached a deal calling on the party to pay $ 200,000 to resolve a campaign finance complaint.
A conciliation agreement was signed last month and said the payment “should not be interpreted as an admission of liability”.
The deal says $ 200,000 in undisclosed spending was made between August 2018 and February 2019 from a state Republican Party administrative account.
In a February 4, 2021 letter to the State Elections Office, outgoing party chairwoman Laura Cox – on behalf of the state Republican Party – pointed out a possible campaign violation.
Cox said Ann Arbor businessman and University of Michigan regent Ron Weiser paid an activist in Macomb County $ 200,000 to stay out of the race for secretary of state in 2018, when Weiser last led the party. Weiser said the money given to Stan Grot was for legitimate party work.
Weiser defeated Cox this year for the party presidency.
Weiser and the Michigan Republican Party said in a statement Friday that the agreement with Benson’s office affirmed “no admission of wrongdoing on behalf of the party or anyone within the organization.”
“Had we continued to defend ourselves in litigation, we are confident that our arguments would have prevailed in court,” Weiser said. “In the end, the litigation costs for the party would have amounted to more than the payment demanded by the Secretary of State.”
Weiser said he would personally contribute the $ 200,000 to the state’s Republican Party.
Spokeswoman for Secretary of State Tracy Wimmer said in conciliation agreements “it is common for the subject of the investigation to claim that there was no wrongdoing.”
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