Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Alicia St. Germaine calls for action on House ethics package
RELEASE|October 9, 2023

Rep. Alicia St. Germaine issued a statement this week urging House Democratic leadership to adopt the Legislative ethics plan introduced by her colleagues (HBs 4264-4269), including her plan (HB 4264) that requires abstaining from a vote when there is a conflict of interest. 

The Detroit News revealed earlier this month that Rep. Witwer, a Democrat and current head of the appropriations committee, has had a vested role in her public relations company — even though the firm has clients that directly lobby the Legislature for contracts paid for with taxpayer money.

Since the news broke, Rep. Witwer has gone silent refusing to address the issue even when reporters held microphones directly in her face between committee meanings.

This week, House Republicans introduced an official resolution asking for a formal inquiry into Witwer’s dealings. The motion was referred to committee pending further debate. When dropping the resolution, House Republicans also signaled continued calls for legislative action on a full ethics package to dissuade a similar issue from happening.

“This resolution and our ethics package are high-profile issues, but all issues addressed by the legislature deserve to be voted on by fair and honest lawmakers,” St. Germaine said. ” I stand with all of my colleagues who are calling for a full investigation into Rep. Witwer’s actions she has taken in her position as chair of the Appropriations Committee.”

The failure to disclose this role with her firm would be more than a small violation for Witwer.

In 2022, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal 1 with 66% support. This constitutional amendment requires the Legislature to implement financial disclosure for legislators, the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. For Witwer to be maintaining a role with her company would therefore represent both a conflict of interest and failure to disclose legally required financial information necessary for a sitting state representative.

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