State Representative Scott Dianda wants the attorney general to investigate the Capitol View project in Lansing.
Dianda introduced a resolution in the House requesting the investigation, citing the possible waste, fraud and abuse of power by former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and the Senate Business Office.
The Calumet Democrat says the Senate will spend $134 million dollars over the next 30 years to pay for the offices.
He also says the building is home to registered lobbyists and is owned by a political contributor to the Republican Party.
Here is the full press release from Dianda’s office:
Rep. Dianda Demands Schuette Investigate Capitol View Project
Senate to move into privately owned building at taxpayers’ expense
LANSING — State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced a House Resolution today requesting that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette investigate the “possible waste, fraud and abuse of power by former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and the Senate Business Office regarding the lease of the Capitol View Building.”
“The Senate will spend $134 million of the taxpayers’ money over the next 30 years to pay for fancy new offices, when they could have renovated the state-owned building that now houses their offices,” said Dianda. “My U.P. constituents and I agree that this is a shameful waste of taxpayer money, and it’s time for Attorney General Schuette to investigate.”
The Senate agreed to move into the Capitol View office building, which is home to registered lobbyists and is owned by a political contributor to the Republican Party. The Senate sold the Billie S. Farnum Building that had been home to senators’ offices and that the Senate owned. There is no requirement that building purchases be approved by both chambers.
“There are just too many issues in the sale to allow it to go ahead without looking into the details,” said Dianda. “There is the possibility that the Boji Group, the developer of Capitol View, was ineligible to even conduct business with the state when this deal was made because of unpaid taxes. There are issues surrounding Senator Richardville’s meetings with the Boji Group before bids were submitted, and the fact that since leaving the Senate, he has consulted for them.”
The Capitol View project did not have an appraisal, leaving taxpayers in the dark as to the true value of the property being purchased. The Lansing city assessor said the project was overpriced to such a degree that he would not be using the sale in assessing property values in the city.
“We need an investigation to determine if any state or federal laws were broken during the bidding process, negotiation or finalizing of the contract,” said Dianda. “Michigan citizens deserve that much since it’s their tax dollars that are going to buy this space for the Senate.”