Michigan democrats accuse MSHDA director of lavish spending, implicate governor

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LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Democratic party is calling out the governor and a top official for the state Michigan. The party accuses Scott Woosley of wasteful spending of taxpayer funds.

Scott Woosley was hired as executive director for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority in October 2012.

Johnson claims an employee for MSHDA blew the whistle anonymously, tipping off the democratic party about alleged lavish spending of tax dollars by woosley and other MSHDA staff.

"During Woosley's trip to the Middle East, he stayed at a $540 a night hotel room in Dubai," Johnson gave as a specific example.

Johnson said Woosley and staff "were spending vast sums of money on extravagant foreign trips, limousines, massages, premium class airfare, fine wine, gourmet meals and rooms at the world's most expensive hotels. Virtually all of this was paid for with public funds."

The democratic party put in a request through the Freedom of Information Act to get more. They that the spending totaled more than $200,000 for Woosley and other staff since he was hired in. That includes $40,000 for flights to various locations around the world on state business.

Johnson said, "That's money that could have been used to support affordable housing and community development."

He said reimbursement for alcohol and massages were denied and were not included in the totals he presented.

Woosley issued this statement:

“I would never expect the state to reimburse what is not properly reimbursable or at a rate that would be inappropriate. I am asking the department of treasury to closely review any previously paid expenses to determine if there was anything at all that was inadvertently reimbursed. If any such instances are found, I will write a personal check for anything that was not an appropriate state-approved expense or that meets established guidelines.

“There is too much positive action taking place at the state -- and at the authority -- for any of this to get in the way of our forward momentum. We are moving the state in a direction that benefits all michiganders. I will continue to do the good work we have started and that is to help meet the housing needs of michiganders, tackle blight and build strong communities and neighborhoods as well as attract investment, capital, jobs, and economic activity."

The democratic party is also pointing the finger at republican governor Rick Snyder. The party claims Snyder is allowing top officials to spend carelessly.

"That's why democrats will be introducing legislation to require that snyder ban the use of expensive limousines, put a cap on overseas travel, and that when state officials do travel, that they use the most economical airline ticket available," Rep. Tim Griemel, the house democratic leader said.

FOX 17 reached out to the governor's office for comment. FOX 17 has not heard back.

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  • Debra Van Buren

    As a Michigan resident, I am absolutely disgusted learning that our tax dollars are being used by high level Republican Politicians in such inappropriate and irresponsible ways. Incidents of lavish spending with public funds only hurt the people of Michigan, as such money could be efficiently utilized in beneficial ways for citizens and the community. Careless spending and/or any form of government waste are intolerable behaviors and reflect the crucial need for accountability and transparency in the political arena. Democrats ought to be recognized and appreciated for their current efforts to introduce legislation to rectify such matters. Moreover, I believe such unethical behaviors reflect the way things are being played with respect to our Republicans at the highest level. The behind-the-scenes truth about what really goes on in our Political arena ought to be known by everyone, to enable them to vote wisely in the upcoming November Election. Every vote counts, and it is imperative for citizens to become cognizant of all the candidates, their issues, background, and also their character. We need political leaders who genuinely care about the people, not just special interest groups. In my opinion, “Pure Michigan” differs widely from “Snyder’s Michigan,” and it is obviously time for change. As a Pro-choice Democrat, I will be voting for Mark Schauer, as he is dedicated and devoted to making Michigan a better place for everyone, and has included special provisions for women in the workplace. I truly believe in my heart, that Schauer’s anticipated victory in November will be a victory for all the people in Michigan. Additionally, women stand to benefit significantly, as his proposed measures to help women will undoubtedly represent landmark legislation in the future, I am simply ecstatic over Mark’s concern for women in the workplace, and shall always remember him and all his accomplishments. The facts speak for themselves!

  • Barbara

    Yeah, when Obama spends us into oblivion and gives our hard earned money to the Hamas and ISIS, do we hear you whining about that? Nope. How about Obama running to Marthas Vineyard every single time we have a crisis…do you cry about that? Nope. How about when the Obamas take separate planes to the same place, the same day? Is that an outrage? No? Arent you sick and tired of Michel buying those 17 thousand dollar jackets? How about when they eat steak and lobster and we dont eat at all sometimes? He sees to it the poor children in Africa gets food, but doesnt take care of our kids? We are broke. We have no money. Yet he finds millions to give ISIS and Hamas?? Youre not mad yet? Well, THINK about it for just a minute. I’ll wait.

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