Michigan GOP chairman to pay $200,000 fine over 'sleazy payoff' scandal: report
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A Michigan Republican who once served as George W. Bush's ambassador to Slovakia will be paying hundreds of thousand of dollars in fines over an alleged payoff scheme.

"Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser has agreed to pay $200,000 from his personal fortune to resolve a complaint alleging the party paid a candidate to drop out of the race for secretary of state in 2018, officials said Friday," the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

"The Michigan Secretary of State's Office has been investigating a February complaint filed by former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox about allegedly improper payments from the state party to Stan Grot," the newspaper reported. "Cox, who was the outgoing party chair at the time, sent a letter to the Michigan Bureau of Elections in February reporting $200,000 in payments the party made to Grot, the Shelby Township clerk, as a possible violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. Cox disclosed what she described as a "sleazy payoff," under which the party, at Weiser's direction, paid the money to Grot over seven months so he would drop out of the race for secretary of state shortly before the 2018 convention, clearing the field for Mary Treder Lang, who was defeated by Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in the general election."

While the fine is officially the responsibility of the Michigan Republican Party, Weiser said he would cover the costs.

A longtime fundraiser for Republicans, Weiser was tapped as a finance vice chair for the Republican National Committee's efforts to fundraise for Donald Trump in 2016 and was also a member of the University of Michigan Board of Regents.