Emails Show HAPRA Employees spearheaded controversial Fundraiser
Today, Livingston County Republican Party (LCRP) Chairwoman Meghan Reckling called upon the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority (HAPRA) board to launch an immediate investigation into the misuse of public funds by HAPRA employees. The appeal comes after an LCRP Freedom of Information request (FOIA) revealed emails that show that HAPRA employees took it upon themselves to set up and promote a controversial fundraiser for a private nonprofit group that shared their political beliefs.
“Drag Queen Bingo,” which will occur during the Howell Mellon Festival, is a fundraiser for the Livingston Diversity Council (LDC), a private nonprofit associated with the Livingston Democrat Party. However, the emails show that a HAPRA employee was the driving force behind the event, organizing the initial show and connecting the production company with the LDC after the event was already in the planning stages. Further, the employee is a supporter of the LDC and has attended other LDC events in her free time.
“After reviewing hundreds of emails, it has become clear that at least one HAPRA employee violated the public trust and used her position as a government employee to promote her personal social and political agenda. Worse, she planned to use the proceeds from the event to financially benefit a political organization which shares her liberal political beliefs,” said Meghan Reckling, LCRP Chairwoman. Reckling continued, “Livingston County taxpayers deserve better. Therefore, the Livingston County Party calls upon the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority to launch an immediate investigation into this matter and hold accountable HAPRA employees who are using public resources to promote their political agendas.”
The Livingston County Republican Party filed their Freedom of Information request with the City of Howell after it became clear that there was a lack of transparency regarding the “Drag Queen Bingo” fundraiser. Several of the emails uncovered by the request can be found below.