Michigan Democrat returns $5,000 of COVID-related funds, calls out ‘individual with ulterior motives’

A Democratic state representative in Michigan has “voluntarily” returned thousands of dollars she received as part of the relief funds issued after the government-imposed COVID lockdowns.

The case relates to Kristian Grant, a first-term Democratic state representative from Grand Rapids. As a small business owner, Grant submitted multiple applications for funds from the Kent County Small Business Recovery, which sprung from the federal CARES Act following the COVID lockdowns. Grant was ultimately granted $15,000.

However, a subsequent review of her applications revealed discrepancies among the documents. In one tax filing, Grant reported that her Game Plan Lifestyle Planner business had generated nearly $4,300 in sales in 2019. In another filing, she indicated that the 2019 sales revenue for that business was a paltry $205.

Grant initially blamed the mistake on confusion created because some orders placed in 2019 were not delivered until 2020.

County officials told her she could keep all the money, so long as she submitted updated tax returns. And according to Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg, she claimed to have filed the amended returns last May.

But a subsequent review of those materials conducted earlier this month revealed that, in fact, no such amended returns were ever filed.

Grant then decided to return $5,000 of the COVID-related funds, indicating in a statement that she just wanted to put the issue behind her. “Despite no findings of fraud or wrongdoing on my part, I made the decision to voluntarily return the $5,000 grant awarded to Game Plan Lifestyle Planner through the Kent County Small Business Recovery Fund,” she said.

“While I did rely on a professional to assist in preparing my tax return, I take full responsibility for the oversight and believe returning the funds is the right thing to do,” she continued. She now considers the matter to be “fully resolved.”

In her statement, she also made reference to “an individual with ulterior motives” who seems to carry a grudge against her. This individual “stoked” county officials into reviewing her applications, she claimed.

County Administrator Al Vanderberg said that his office was just doing its due diligence in Grant’s case. “As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we take our responsibility seriously,” he said in a statement. “We have thoroughly addressed the issues brought to our attention regarding Rep. Grant’s applications and subsequent funding. We remain steadfast in upholding the highest standards of accountability and transparency.”

Vanderberg confirmed that Grant has returned the funds. He also added that his office, which rejected about 30% of its COVID-related applications, believes that all other grantees are legitimate.

“We have received no additional challenges and have no reason to believe there were problems with other applications.”

State Rep. Kristian Grant returns $5,000 in COVID fundswww.youtube.com

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