Rep. Dianda offered the following resolution:
House Resolution No. 344.
A resolution to request that the Michigan Attorney General and Michigan State Police investigate the possible waste, fraud, and abuse of power by former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and the Senate Business Office regarding the lease of the Capitol View Building.
Whereas, Former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, on behalf of the Senate, agreed to lease the basement and seven floors of the Capitol View Building from Boji Group in 2014 for new Senate offices; and
Whereas, Instead of making the financially prudent decision to renovate the Farnum Building, which currently houses Senate offices and is owned by the state of Michigan, Senator Richardville decided to move the Senate from the Farnum Building to the Capitol View Building at the expense of Michigan taxpayers. The estimated cost of renovating the Farnum Building ranged from only $10 million to $30 million. The lease and renovation of the Capitol View Building is estimated to cost the state $134 million; and
Whereas, Irregularities surrounding the bidding and approval process cast doubt on whether Senator Richardville acted in the best interests of the Senate, the Legislature, and the people of Michigan; and
Whereas, The Senate grossly overpaid for the Capitol View Building, relying on negotiations to set the final price rather than requesting an appraisal of the property. The Department of Technology, Management, and Budget requires an appraisal before a real estate transaction with the state of Michigan to protect taxpayer interest. The Lansing City Assessor’s Office currently values the Capitol View Building at $12 million, but the Senate paid $41 million; and
Whereas, Boji Group may have been ineligible to conduct business with the state of Michigan at the time of the agreement but was selected anyway. The Department of Technology, Management, and Budget requires vendors to sign a responsibility certification stating that the company and its officers have not failed to pay any federal, state, or local taxes. Records show that the Department of Treasury had issued a tax lien notice against Boji Group in May 2014, which was not released until after Boji Group submitted its official bid. Either Boji Group did not sign the certification or it made a false statement on the certification, either of which could have been grounds for its disqualification; and
Whereas, Senator Richardville may have an inappropriate relationship with Boji Group. The Boji family has made significant contributions to Senator Richardville’s campaign committees and the campaign committees of his political allies. In addition, Senator Richardville met with Boji Group before bids were submitted, and since leaving office, has offered an endorsement of Boji Group in the company’s advertising materials and has consulted on behalf of Boji Group’s interests; and
Whereas, An expenditure of this magnitude requires careful scrutiny, but the Senate’s lease of the Capitol View Building was shrouded in secrecy. Given that Senator Richardville approved a deal that was much more expensive than renovating the Farnum Building and awarded the contract to a potentially ineligible company with which he has close ties, an independent investigation is necessary to determine if any state or federal laws were broken during the bidding process, negotiations, or execution of the Capitol View Building purchase; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we request that the Michigan Attorney General and Michigan State Police investigate the possible waste, fraud, and abuse of power by former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and the Senate Business office regarding the lease of the Capitol View Building for new Senate office space from the Boji Group, LLC; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General and the director of the Michigan State Police.