The Michigan Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that a case brought by a liberal advocacy group seeking Attorney General Bill Schuette’s private emails should not have been dismissed.
In 2017, Progress Michigan filed suit against Schuette, a Republican, after his office denied a 2016 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding his use of private email accounts to conduct public business. The group alleges it has evidence that Schuette and his staff used private email to conduct state business.
“Bill Schuette used every procedural move he could to evade the Freedom of Information Act, but this unanimous ruling shows what we have said all along, no one is above the law,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.
Progress Michigan won in the Court of Claims. However, the suit was dismissed by the Court of Appeals due to the timing of the filing of the complaint.
On Monday, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court, which now sends the case back to the Court of Claims.
Schuette served as attorney general from 2011 to 2019 and unsuccessfully ran for governor against now-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2018.
“This decision is a win for transparency, and for people across the state of Michigan who deserve to know their elected officials are fully accountable to the people,” Scott said. “With this procedural hurdle out of the way, we’re confident we can win on the merits of our case. We look forward to continuing our fight for transparency back at the Court of Claims and finally securing the records ‘Shady Schuette’ tried to hide from the public.”