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Published: Saturday, 2/26/2005

Financing violations alleged in local contest

MONROE - The Michigan attorney general's office is reviewing a Michigan State Police investigation into alleged campaign finance violations from last year's four-way race for Monroe County prosecutor, a spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox confirmed yesterday.

Allison Pierce, a spokesman for Mr. Cox, refused to provide any details of the investigation, conducted by detectives from the state police Monroe post and delivered earlier this month to Lansing. Ms. Pierce said the investigation is under review and that no charges have yet been filed.

Monroe Post Detective Sgt. Dave Meyer refused to provide the names of the suspect or suspects under investigation, but said that the inquiry revealed that "several campaign finance laws may have been violated."

Detective Meyer said the allegations included charges that one or more of the four candidates may have accepted cash donations larger than the $20 limit imposed by state law and that contributions may not have been reported on campaign finance reports. He said all of the relevant witnesses had been interviewed in the case, and that he and Detective Sgt. Allison King, who led the investigation, recommended "misdemeanor charges or possibly felony charges."

The four candidates in the race were Republican John Luchansky and Democrats Jeffery Dulany, Joseph Yanoschik, and eventual winner William Paul Nichols.

Ms. Pierce said she did not know when the review of the local investigation would be completed or whether any charges would be filed.

"We're looking into it. Once a decision is made out of this office, then we can comment," Ms. Pierce said.

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