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Michigan Secretary of State dismisses charges

The [Michigan] Secretary of State's office on Thursday dismissed a complaint against a state representative that accused him of violating Michigan's campaign finance law by using a nonprofit agency he created to pay staff members for political work.

David Murley, of the Secretary of State's Legal and Regulatory Services, said the complaint filed against Rep. Stephen Ehardt by two of Ehardt's former aides, Mark Powell and Jake Wielock, doesn't show how Ehardt or his nonprofit organization violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.

Ehardt's two former aides accused the Lexington Republican of using the nonprofit organization he formed, Better Michigan Inc., to pay political employees. It was created in 2001 to raise money from corporations and give it to other community organizations.

The two also charged that the nonprofit received corporate donations, but Murley said they didn't show that the nonprofit received donations from corporations. -- Secretary of State says not enough evidence for campaign finance complaint (AP via Detroit Free Press)