Only a mere five years after the Michigan State police moved into a newly constructed $71 million headquarters in Lansing, state officials announced Wednesday that they are abandoning the building.
The edifice was protested by officers and lawmakers alike when it was announced back in 2007 by then Governor Jennifer Granholm.
At the time, the Michigan state government faced bankruptcy – but such economic realities matter little when taxpayer expropriation is the game of the day.
“I’m convinced more than ever, this is the worst case of political payback,” State Representative Rick Jones had said at the time.
Jones was one of many lawmakers who opposed building the new headquarters – citing the close relationship between Gov. Granholm and the individual chosen as building developer, Joel Ferguson, as a boondoggle red flag.
Ferguson was one of Granholm’s biggest political contributors.
When asked in 2007 if he thought politicians are influenced by campaign contributions Ferguson insisted to local reporters: “No I don’t. The people I’ve met, I just feel that they’re influenced by what they can do best for the State of Michigan.”
Ferguson has long since denied that political contributions had anything to do with his involvement with the headquarters construction.
Officials say state police will begin vacating the building in September. It will be taken over by the Department of Community Health.
So where will the new state police headquarters be located?
About nine miles away from the Lansing headquarters in a building many officers and legislators purposed from the very beginning back in 2007. A building that was already constructed prior to the raising of what some Michigan lawmakers are now calling “the monument to waist.”
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