In Michigan
4:45 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

Bishop says MI Senate to investigate every MEGA credit

LANSING, MI –

The Senate Republican leader says there will be a legislative inquiry into how the state's economic development agency awarded a multi-million dollar business tax break to a convicted embezzler.

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The nine-million dollar tax credit was awarded to a business led by Richard Short, who has a long history of ripping people off. He was jailed for failing to make restitution payments a day after sharing a stage with Governor Granholm to accept the credit.

The Michigan Economic Development Authority says the incident is embarrassing and has promised to start doing background checks on applicants for business tax breaks.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says the Senate will eventually review every tax break awarded by the economic development agency.

"Because if it happened here, chances are it happened somewhere else and there's got to be some kind of flaw in the process," he explains.

The state did not lose any money because Short never claimed the credit, but the incident is a black eye for Michigan's economic development program.

The hearings will begin next week.