The boondoggle lives

Jones comments on state police leaving recently built HQ building

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — After hearing that the Michigan State Police (MSP) will be moving out of its recently built Lansing headquarters building in March, Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, issued the following statement:

“Six years ago I fought to keep the Michigan State Police headquarters at Michigan State University. The state was leasing the campus building for $1 a year. However, Gov. Granholm decided to reward her political friends by building a new headquarters downtown Lansing. Now, the state police are preparing to move to the secondary complex — where they wanted to be the entire time.

“I can simply say: I told you so. The project was a boondoggle and Granholm’s name should be put on the building to remind all the taxpayers.

“People have asked: How could this happen? Doesn’t the state put out competitive bids for new buildings? The answer is no, not if it’s a lease. The scheme was to have a new headquarters built with a single-source bid, which was allowed because the building would be leased for 25 years. I led the fight against the project after officers of all ranks contacted me and asked me to stop it.

“They were happy with the MSU location and saw no reason to move. If they did move, they wanted to be at the secondary complex — which already had the MSP training center, a crime lab and a post.  It had plenty of parking for staging troopers in case of a disaster, had space for helicopters to land and could be secured from terrorists. The downtown location made no sense to anyone, except Granholm and her political cronies.

“I got an attorney general ruling that said we could end the lease at any time with proper notice. However, it was decided to purchase the building. As the state police move to an appropriate place, no one wants to buy the building and we will have to fill it with state workers. Making lemonade out of lemons, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services workers from four leased buildings will now move in.

“The lesson learned is that Michigan State Police should advise the Legislature on any new moves. This is NOT their fault. This boondoggle is the fault of a governor who has since abandoned the state and moved to California.”