Public emergency notification system used by Ingham County sheriff to announce 2020 re-election bid


LANSING, Mich. – Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth used an Ingham County-funded email notification system Friday to announce his 2020 re-election bid.

The Lansing State Journal reports the email was sent through an alert system paid for, in part, by Ingham County, making the system a public resource. 

"In general, public resources should not be used for campaign activities," said Craig Mauger, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "Sending out a press release about your run for office is a campaign activity."

Wriggelsworth defended the alert, describing his message as an announcement and not as campaign literature.

"I'm the sheriff," Wriggelsworth said. "And I’m letting the media, the public and my employees know that I intend to remain the sheriff."

He said the department does not have a written policy about using the alert system.

“If somebody deems or determines that this was an inappropriate use of county funds or a county system or whatever they say, then I’ll deal with the consequences of that,” he said.