Four staffers of former U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia were charged today in connection with the false nominating petitions that led to McCotter’s departure from Congress. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette described the four as “not simply Keystone Kops running amok … criminal acts were committed.” He said the petition forgeries and cut-and-paste jobs on the petitions “would make an elementary art teacher cringe.” Schuette said the McCotter staffers also likely did the same thing in the 2008 elections, using 2006 petition signatures. … “Let me tell you this, we find any other evidence, we’ll review it in the same painstaking … thorough fashion,” Schuette said at a late-morning news conference. Schuette blasted McCotter for being “asleep at the switch,” and providing no guidance to his staffers. “They acted above the law as if it didn’t apply to them,” Schuette said.
But there is no specific evidence that McCotter was involved in the petition fraud, so the former congressman, who resigned in July, was not charged. “Their motive is immaterial,” Schuette said. “They set a standard of conduct that is disgraceful.” McCotter this afternoon released a statement saying, “I thank the Attorney General and his office for their earnest, thorough work on this investigation, which I requested, and their subsequent report. For my family and I, this closure commences our embrace of the enduring blessings of private life,” McCotter said, adding that he would not make himself available to answer any questions from the media at this point. According to the investigator’s report obtained by the Free Press, the four were a “dysfunctional congressional staff that had completely lost its moral compass” and were “indifferent to the requirements of the law.”