Michigan County official who gave himself $ 25,000 bonus from Covid relief fund steps down as president

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Official resigned as chairman of a Michigan County board of directors, the latest fallout from his decision to grant himself a $ 25,000 bonus with federal COVID-19 relief money and reward other members of the community.

Jeremy Root will remain one of the seven commissioners of Shiawassee County but will no longer lead the board of directors.

“This whole county government needs major reform. The integrity of the board is gone. There is no way to get it back,” Owosso’s Daniel Law said in a rare meeting. Sunday which attracted more than 200 residents.

Root did not attend the meeting, but his resignation letter was read to the public.

In July, Republican county commissioners voted 6-0 to give themselves $ 65,000 as a COVID-19 “risk bonus”, as part of an effort to distribute more than $ 500,000 in federal aid to 250 county employees.

RELATED: Michigan County Officials Used COVID-19 Money For Bonuses

Root and fellow commissioner Cindy Garber, who won $ 5,000, defended the bonuses. But at least one commissioner said she had no idea she voted to reward herself until money ended up in her bank account.

Commissioners backed off on July 23 and said they would return the money. Separately, a judge last week ordered the county to recover any bonuses exceeding $ 5,000 after a lawsuit alleged commissioners violated the open meetings law when the money was approved.


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