State Rep. Angela Rigas, R-Caledonia, says Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel should be investigated for allegedly intervening in a probe of personal injury attorney and current Democrat Party Treasurer Traci Kornack.
The AG’s office was investigating Kornak after she was charged with defrauding an insurance company. The charges stem from accusations by a nursing home director in Western Michigan, who said Kornak used the account of an elderly brain-damaged client to bilk the client’s insurance company for $50,000.
An article in last week’s Detroit News stated Nessel “subtly pressured her staff to close the investigation and to provide Kornak with documents that would financially benefit her.” The article also noted Kornak worked on Nessel’s transition team when she took office for her first term in 2018.
Nessel’s personal relationship with Kornak prompted the establishment of a “firewall” to prevent the AG from all information, documents, and communications associated with Kornak’s case. The firewall resulted from a memo last September from Scott Teter, the director of AG’s Financial Crimes Division.
“Because the suspect in this matter assisted with Attorney General Nessel’s transition into office, I believe it would create the appearance of impropriety for AG Nessel to access information about this investigation,” reads Teter’s memo.
“Specifically, if the Department of Attorney General declined to seek charges against the suspect, it might appear that the professional relationship between Attorney General Nessel and Traci Kornak had influenced the investigation.”
Detroit News reporting, however, indicates Nessel frequently and directly asserted herself in her friend and former coworker’s case in violation of the firewall.
Nessel obtained reports from the investigation and forwarded them to her solicitor general Fadwa Hammoud. The Detroit News reported Kornak’s case was closed two weeks later, without any AG office contact with the whistleblower who first alerted them about Kornak’s alleged fraud.
“Attorney General Nessel has become a politician first and a law enforcement officer second,” Rigas said in a statement. “And, like too many other politicians before her, she believes herself to be above the rules. But she’s not. Her job is to be the most powerful prosecutor in our state.”
She continued: “Because of that, I believe the people deserve absolute honesty and absolute impartiality. This is a big problem. If she did this when her staff went to all the effort of creating this ‘firewall,’ what do we think she’s doing without one?”
Rigas alleges Nessel has a history of ignoring boundaries established for her office and the cases it handles.
“There must be an impartial investigation into a violation of the public trust like this,” Rigas said. “Can anyone really think this is the only time she’s put her foot on the scale to help a friend or attack an enemy? Any rational person should at least want to find out. But Nessel is protected by the governor, and the governor controls the Democrats. I unfortunately don’t expect any of them to be brave enough to hold this corruption accountable.”