DJ 33 1/3

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Officials Use Relief Funds As Bonuses

Photo: Getty Images North America

Elected officials in a Michigan county voted to give over $500,000 in federal coronavirus relief money directly to employees and themselves.

The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted to give a $25,000 bonus to "top-level administrators" and $12,500 to department heads, around 250 employees bonuses, which they described as "hazard pay."

"I think that I earned it," Commissioner Cindy Garber said. "I work really hard at this job. I was here in person all through this crazy year."

Shiawassee County Administrator Brian Boggs, was awarded a $25,000 bonus, and said he also supported the payments, which were meant to help the employees who work for the county.

"It was to the benefit of the employees," he said, "and perhaps we should not pursue other ideas like this to get them additional funding if this is how it's going to be received."

Marlene Webster was "mortified" when she saw the money in her bank account and vowed to return it.

"I'm giving the money back," Webster said. "I think one commissioner is giving it to a nonprofit, so those actions indicate that we truly did not know this money was coming to us."

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