AG Nessel releases results of contact-tracing contract investigation

Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 30, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released on Wednesday a 29-page report outlining the findings of her department’s criminal investigation into allegations that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) unlawfully directed the procurement of a contract for COVID-19 contact-tracing to an alleged political ally.

The investigation was requested by Michigan State Senator Jim Runestad in April, although he did not provide the department with any evidence.

A team of seven conducted numerous interviews with 17 individuals and obtained and reviewed thousands of emails and other documents as part of the investigation. Following a thorough review of all physical evidence collected and all statements taken, the Department of Attorney General found no evidence of criminal conduct.

“I appreciate the concern raised by Sen. Runestad but I also appreciate the reality under which this contract was pursued,” said Nessel. “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.”

A copy of the report has been provided to Sen. Runestad, Governor Whitmer, and Department of Health & Human Services Director Robert Gordon.