In April 2020, the Whitmer administration agreed to give Kolehouse Strategies, a company known for working on Democrat political campaigns, a contract to perform contact-tracing on coronavirus patients.
When the partisan nature of the company’s work was revealed, Whitmer canceled the contract.
a report between Christmas and New Year’s, eight months later, after opening a review when state Sen. Jim Runestad (R) requested a “criminal” — a word italicized in the report — investigation into the deal.
“I appreciate the concern raised by Sen. Runestad but I also appreciate the reality under which this contract was pursued,” Nessel said, Mlive
reported. “With the benefit of hindsight, there may have been a better way to accomplish the Department’s ultimate purpose but we found no evidence of criminality. Instead, it appears the imperfect process used here was mainly a result of the Department’s attempt to get a contact-tracing program underway as quickly as possible in light of the dire public health crisis,” she said.
According to the report, the attorney general did not conduct an “in-depth analysis of the State Ethics laws.”
But the report claimed a “quick review” of the State Ethic Act found nothing wrong, either.
The report acknowledged the agreement, originally made with Kolehouse Strategies, was changed to an obscure entity known as Great Lakes Community Engagement.
That was done after Zack Pohl, Communications Director for the Governor’s Office, determined that “using politically involved entities may be a distraction,” the report said.
“We got the green light from EOG [the executive office of the governor] to move forward with a slightly different organizational arrangement of the contact tracing volunteer work,” Andrea Taverna, a senior adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email to other health department officials, according to
Kolehouse was identified by Michael Edward Duggan, Jr., a Whitmer administration employee and the son of the Detroit mayor.
“Mr. Mike Kolehouse was the only name provided to Ms. Taverna by Mr. Ed Duggan,” according to the report. Andrea Tavera was tasked with finding a contractor.
Duggan later left the administration to join President-elect Joe Biden’s Michigan campaign operation.
Breitbart News later found the contract, worth $194,250, was to pay 400 activists to collect medical information from virus patients.