State Rep. Sharon Tyler: Answers scarce in MEDC felon fiascoPublished 10:33am Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Having spent more than 30 years working as an economic developer in Berrien County, I am very familiar with how economic incentive packages are put together and it boggles my mind that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation neglected to conduct even basic due diligence before awarding millions of dollars of tax credits. Red flags were everywhere, including the fact Short listed his mobile home as the official business address on his application.
What troubles me most about this whole story, though, is the way the Granholm administration seems to be trying to downplay the significance of this failure by pointing out that the scam artist did not actually receive any money from the state. That’s not the point. There are plenty of instances where the state does give out money up front, and the point is that the Granholm administration rushes to make headlines by announcing job creation numbers before the jobs are actually created.
It’s also worth noting the scam artist could have used the legitimacy conferred on his fake company by the MEDC to bilk unsuspecting investors out of millions of dollars.
The more I learn about this whole affair, the more it seems clear there were at least some within the MEDC who had serious qualms about the legitimacy of the application due to lack of verifiable financial information, yet those concerns were overruled. The public deserves to know why. I intend to keep pressing for answers until I am convinced the problem has been solved and appropriate safeguards have been put in place.
I look forward to hearing your comments on these important issues. Please feel free to contact me by calling (888) 373-0078 or e-mailing email@example.com. gov.