Embattled Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been hit with an ethics complaint claiming she violated Michigan law and transparency standards when she accepted a private jet trip to Florida at a greatly discounted rate.
Advocacy group Americans for Public Trust (APT) filed an ethics complaint with the Michigan State Board of Ethics against Whitmer for the flight, detailing that the $27,000 price tag being footed by the Democratic governor and her nonprofit, Michigan Transition 2019.
APT filed the complaint on Thursday, alleging that Whitmer’s Florida trip violated multiple facets of Michigan’s State Ethics Act including prohibitions against receiving gifts and engaging in personal activities due to her status as governor.
The group also called for an investigation to be launched into Whitmer’s trip, asked for a full report detailing misconduct, and requested a recommendation that the state’s attorney general prosecute the governor over any unethical violations.
The advocacy group is not the only faction looking for answers. Rep. Steve Johnson, the Republican chair of the Michigan House Oversight Committee, sent a 43 question letter to Whitmer to give Michigan’s citizens “certainty that their governor is following proper procedures and acting within the bounds of the law.”
According to APT, the fair market value of the flight was close to $40,000, but “Michigan Transition paid only $27,52, resulting in nearly a $13,000 gift to Governor Whitmer.”
Public officials in Michigan are prohibited from soliciting a gift or loan of money, goods, services or other thing of value, according to Michigan law.
“The facts make it clear that Governor Whitmer violated multiple provisions of the State Ethics Act when she abused her position of power to fly on a private jet to Florida,” said APT executive director Caitlin Sutherland. “As an elected official, she is prohibited from using her public office to obtain anything of value.”
“The lack of transparency from Governor Whitmer and her office is a disservice to Michiganders and I encourage the Attorney General to investigate immediately and impose the proper penalties,” Sutherland added.
Michigan Republican Party communications director Ted Goodman called Whitmer out for her and her administration’s further hypocrisy over the “secret trip.”
“As the truth continues to emerge surrounding Gov. Whitmer’s secret private jet trip to Florida, it’s becoming painfully clear that Whitmer operates under the idea that the same set of rules do not apply to her,” said Goodman. “For Whitmer and her cronies, its rules for thee, but not for me.”
Republican Governors Association spokesman Chris Gustafson told Fox News on Thursday that Whitmer’s trip, among other issues surrounding the governor, will be the reason Michigan voters will can Whitmer come next fall.
“Gretchen Whitmer’s wanton disregard for the rules and transparency surrounding her secret vacation to Florida raises serious ethical concerns for Michiganders and ensure that the turbulence is not far behind her,” Gustafson said.
“Whitmer’s abuse of a slush fund and possible benefit at taxpayers’ expense will not fly with Michigan voters when they vote to fire the damn governor next fall,” he added.
Whitmer’s office did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
The plane Whitmer used is owned by Michigan company AirEagle, LLC, which is owned by a group of wealthy Detroit businessmen.
Whitmer paid just over $800 out of pocket for her trip, and the rest of the trip was covered by her Michigan Transition 2019 organization.
The Michigan governor was also hit by an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) complaint from advocacy group Michigan Rising Action over her trip, which alleges the trip was outside of the legal scope of her transition organization.