Sheriff fined for Schuette campaign ad

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A campaign finance violation stemming from a campaign ad for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette in the 2018 general election resulted in a conciliation agreement between Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy and the State of Michigan.

In the ad, Murphy, who is in uniform, appears with Schuette with a Livingston County Sheriff’s vehicle parked in the background.

In addition to a fine of $100, Murphy also paid $100 to Livingston County to reimburse one hour of his wages and the use of a county vehicle. Thought not required to do so, Murphy also paid $585 to Livingston County for attorney fees expended on his behalf. The payments came from his personal funds, not his campaign account.

“As I mentioned when the complaint was filed, if I was found in violation, I would make it right. This is exactly what I did,” Murphy said. “The county was made whole, so no tax dollars were expended. I take full responsibility for my actions, and it will not happen again.”

Judy Daubenmier, chairperson of the Livingston County Democratic Party, filed the complaint.

“It sounds like a small matter, but the principle is a big one,” Daubenmier said in her release. “Public resources may not be used for political purposes. It’s a shame that a Republican officeholder had to be reminded that all of us pay for county resources and that they belong to the public, rather than being the exclusive property of one political party.”

View the television ad below:

• You can read Daubenmier’s press release by clicking here.

• You can read Murphy’s response by clicking here.

• You can read the case documentation by clicking here.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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