Progress Michigan FOIA Reveals Aramark Scandal Reaches Top Levels of Snyder Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

September 11, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan FOIA Reveals Aramark Scandal Reaches Top Levels of Snyder Administration

MICHIGAN — Today, Progress Michigan released a document that was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request that shows the top levels of Snyder’s administration pulling strings in the early stages of Aramark’s public blunders.

The email exchange, between Gov. Snyder’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, and Daniel Heyns, the head of the Michigan Department of Corrections, shows the Snyder’s administration trying to stamp out the controversy in March of this year.

On March 13, Muchmore sent an email to Heyns and referenced a story in MIRS News about the scandals regarding Aramark. The email exchange is listed below:

Muchmore:

“Do you feel you’ve got this under control? Seems like these attacks are always initiated by AFSCME, but I find it kind of unusual that this comes up on the heels of the escape so maybe it is MCO this time.” 

Heyns:

“Answer is no but I am working on it. Let me know when you want to get together to talk about it.”

Muchmore:

REDACTED

Heyns:

“I can always use one of those but not necessary. I know where you want to go. I will tone down my attack dogs, delay or cancel any fines and give Aramark time to solve the problems. I met with one of their honchos today and he gets the picture. We were concerned about losing control of a joint and told them repeatedly with no improvement. Our corrective action was too harsh. Let me know if you need more or just want a drink. I will watch it closely from here out.”

“What was said between Muchmore and Heyns that caused him to ‘tone down his attack dogs’ and cancel fines to Aramark?” Scott questioned. “Was the Snyder administration trying to hide problems with Aramark from the public? Heyns states that he was concerned about ‘losing control of a joint,’ proving that the Aramark contract is a threat to public safety.  The governor needs to do more than just slap Aramark on the wrist. He needs to end the contract immediately to protect not just taxpayer dollars, but taxpayers themselves.”

Progress Michigan also questioned Gov. Rick Snyder’s decision to hire a controversial, out-of-state, ex-public official to oversee the state’s contract with Aramark.

“In light of the information we’re releasing today, it is even more troubling that Gov. Snyder has announced that he’s chosen an ex-public official who has already been embroiled in controversy to oversee the state’s Aramark contract” Scott continued. “You would think the governor would want to avoid any future scandals at all cost given what has happened within his administration, but it appears that his allegiance to corporate profits and privatization is greater than than his commitment to the people of Michigan.”

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