Officials in Michigan county used virus money for bonuses


CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) — Elected officials in a Michigan county gave themselves bonuses with federal relief money related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money, described as “hazard pay,” included $25,000 for Jeremy Root, chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners.

Shiawassee is a mostly rural county between Lansing and Flint, with a population of 68,000.

Commissioners — all Republicans — voted last week to award money to county employees.

It ranges from $25,000 for administrators to $2,000 for cleaning staff. All workers got at least $1,000.

Commissioner Marlene Webster said she was “mortified” when $5,000 appeared in her bank account.

She said she didn’t know she voted to reward herself and plans to return the money.

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