Michigan Republicans hint at pursuing special prosecutor on nursing homes

Michigan governor praises handling of nursing homes despite backlash

Michigan Senate Republicans hint at pursuing special prosecutor on nursing homes

DETROIT – To say Republicans are not satisfied with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s decision not to investigate nursing home deaths is an understatement.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jim Runestad of the 15th district, who is leading the charge on the issue pointed at the possibility of bringing in lawyers.

“I think we’re going to have to do some things with the budget whether it’s funding a special prosecutor or we’re talking about a lot of different issues right now in terms of what we can do because the people of the State of Michigan need to have answers,” said Runestad.

Runestad and seven other senators sent a letter last month to Nessel asking her to look into the nursing home deaths, particularly about a lack of proper reporting to the public and the federal government.

Considering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s problems, Runestad wants to know the number of nursing home patients who were sent from a nursing home to the hospital and passed away.

Nessel sent a return letter saying she had no probable cause to investigate and the senators offered no specific evidence of a crime.

Details: Nessel declines GOP request to probe Michigan COVID nursing home deaths

“Though I will not hesitate to act when justified, I also will not abuse the investigatory powers of this department to launch a political attack on any state official, regardless of party or beliefs,” said Nessel.

“Law enforcement officials have an ethical duty to resist political pressure intended to influence the conduct, focus, duration or outcome of a criminal investigation and to limit the political impact of an investigation without regard to the official’s personal political beliefs or affiliations.”

In response Runestad said, “There are so many families that want to get to the bottom of the data, what happened with this decision to put COVID infected patients in with uninfected patients in a nursing home. Only five states did this and this was a disastrous policy.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Whitmer sent Local 4 News a statement talking about a University of Michigan study and the American Association of Retired Persons praising her handling of the nursing homes.

She remains proud of the fast action and decision making there.

The Republicans say those sources are her friends and they have no bearing on her performance.

Read: Michigan Gov. Whitmer stands by COVID nursing home policy amid threats of legal action

Read even more: Michigan AG looks into requests to investigate state nursing home policy

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.