Michigan Mayor Used Campaign Cash to Pay for Open Bar at Daughter's Wedding
Mayor LeRoy Burcroff under fire for using funds
A Michigan mayor is facing fire after he used campaign money to fund a portion of his daughter’s wedding, according to reports.
Mayor LeRoy Burcroff from Romulus, Mich., acknowledged that he used campaign funds to the sum of $4,500 to pay for an open bar at his daughter’s wedding.
But Burcroff argued the funds were not inappropriately used because those working at the campaign were at the event, WXYZ reported.
"If the wedding of your own daughter could be a campaign event, what sort of event cannot be a campaign function?" Simon D. Schuster, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, told WXYZ.
"That broad latitude that elected officials have to at least attempt to explain away potentially inappropriate financial transactions is striking," he added.
Daniel Wholihan, Burcroff’s attorney, sent a letter to the state in May, acknowledging the use of campaign funds.
Wholihan added that almost $15,000 of campaign funds were used to intermittently donate to Burcroff’s church.
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The letter came following an investigation launched this year by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Burcroff said he would not seek re-election.
Burcroff’s attorney said the secretary of state may not agree with the justification of the use of the campaign funds.
Wholihan said the fund's usage was "poor optics" but did not agree they amounted to a legal violation.
Burcroff repaid $20,000 to his campaign fund for the expenses.
WXYZ first reported a series of questionable payments made by the mayor in December, which included more than $6,000 worth of payments made to his children, brother, and son-in-law for office rent and campaign office maintenance.
The news outlet also uncovered $3,800 paid in membership fees to the Belleville Yacht Club, where his daughter's wedding was held.
According to the city's website, Burcroff is a Navy veteran and local business owner and father of three children, who "believes that integrity-driven leadership, outstanding customer service, safe neighborhoods, financial stability, and a 'business friendly' city administration are important areas for local government to focus on."