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Former Michigan House leader and wife charged with misusing political funds

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Lee Chatfield chargedProsecutors charged the former leader of the Michigan House and his wife with financial crimes Tuesday, alleging they milked political accounts for personal travel, housing and other benefits while the Republican lawmaker was raising millions of dollars from his powerful post.

Lee Chatfield misused various political funds, including his Peninsula Fund, which was not required to report the names of donors and served as an “unregulated slush fund,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

The operation was a family affair, as wife Stephanie Chatfield monitored her husband’s credit card balance and paid it off with cash from the Peninsula Fund, including $132,000 over a 14-month period, Nessel said.

In another example, Nessel said Lee Chatfield’s brother cashed a $5,000 check from a political fund in 2020 and returned $3,500 to the lawmaker ahead of a vacation, Nessel said.

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