Sen. Runestad shoots back at MEDC’s weak response to negligence and fraud allegations

Sen. Runestad shoots back at MEDC’s weak response to negligence and fraud allegations

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad on Monday sent a letter to Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin Messer after receiving a nonspecific response that failed to address concerns raised in an earlier correspondence about oversight of an $20 million grant given to MEDC executive committee member Fay Beydoun.

“Rather than taking the time to research answers to my direct questions, Mr. Messer and MEDC opted to write a generic letter that highlighted the importance of MEDC’s role as a fiduciary but did nothing to speak on how Ms. Beydoun was allowed to frivolously spend taxpayer dollars under MEDC’s watch or to answer any of the questions I asked,” said Runestad, R-White Lake.

Runestad again demanded answers to questions he raised about MEDC’s role as a fiduciary, and how they let Beydoun receive the grant and proceed to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on her personal salary and other frivolous expenditures.

As in his previous April 8 letter to Messer, Runestad asked for specific answers to the following questions:

  • Did you ever convey support or opposition for granting the $20 million no-bid contract to MEDC executive committee member Fay Beydoun?
  • Was there an opportunity at any point for MEDC, as a fiduciary for the management of these funds, to advise on guardrails for the execution of this grant?
  • Going back through your records, have any other MEDC executive committee members received funds through MEDC for an entity that they were involved with? If so, please provide their names and the funds they received.
  • Going forward, what steps do you propose that will ensure that MEDC respects their fiduciary responsibility and that will ensure that proper guardrails to MEDC grants are put in place?

“I had hoped that MEDC would come clean and provide responses to my questions,” Runestad said. “However, their April 19 response makes it clear that they are only interested in protecting themselves and not accountability and transparency. I will continue to demand these answers from MEDC until they provide them to me, and more importantly, Michigan taxpayers.”


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