Ouimet Should Return $35,000 of Wasted Taxpayer Money

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

Contact: Leigh Fifelski, (517) 999-3646


Documents show county commissioner’s questionable reimbursement claims

 
LANSING – Citizens group Progress Michigan today put a spotlight on the spending habits – at taxpayer expense – of Washtenaw County politician Mark Ouimet, who claimed more than $35,000 in reimbursements for wasteful and questionable spending. In addition to reimbursements, Ouimet also gets a $15,000 taxpayer-funded salary as Washtenaw County commissioner.
 

“Mark Ouimet treats taxpayers like his personal ATM for wasteful taxpayer-funded spending sprees, and he should return every cent of that money to taxpayers where it belongs,” said Progress Michigan Executive Director David Holtz. “Mark Ouimet should stop feeding at the public trough. The only responsible thing left for Mark Ouimet to do is to return the taxpayers’ money and apologize for using that money irresponsibly and wastefully.”

 
As a Washtenaw County commissioner, Ouimet asked for and received reimbursements, using taxpayer dollars, of more than $35,000 for mileage and meetings from 2005 to the present, including reimbursements for breakfast and unexplained meetings, online news site annarbor.com reported on Sunday (10/10/2010). Ouimet is running to be state representative for the 52nd House District.
 
Here are some details about Ouimet’s taxpayer-funded spending:
 

  • He claimed a total of $6,142 in mileage reimbursements and expenses for attending conventions outside the area in 2009 alone, according to www.annarbor.com.
  • In 2009, Ouimet claimed $6,550 while the other 10 county commissioners claimed an average of around $1,200 each, www.annarbor.com reported.
  • In 2008, Ouimet’s $6,450 reimbursement claim represented 42 percent of the total $15,325 of all 11 county commissioners.

 
While Washtenaw County commissioners receive $25 for each official county meeting they attend involving the county board, its committees and other county-related official business, Ouimet asked to be reimbursed for activities that may not meet that criteria. Ouimet filed for reimbursements for events such as attending memorials, a senior center event in Chelsea, the American Legion, an employee breakfast and several unspecified meetings with an attorney, according to www.annarbor.com on Sunday (10/10/2010).
 
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