“I have nothing to do with any hotel rooms” in the scheduling probe

Lansing — Republican candidate for Attorney General Matt DiPerno called allegations that he helped orchestrate a plan to access voting schedules after the 2020 presidential election as “complete nonsense” in a radio interview Monday morning.

DiPerno’s comments came a day after the Detroit News reported that Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office was seeking to appoint a special prosecutor to look into potential criminal charges against nine individuals, including DiPerno, the state’s deputy. Dyer Rendon, R. Lake City, and Barry County Sheriff Dar Lev.

The group’s alleged efforts included local employees to turn over schedule sheets, move the scheduling to hotels or Airbnb rental properties in Oakland County, break into machines, print “fake ballots” and run “tests” on equipment, according to a Friday letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson authored by Christina Grossi, first deputy attorney general.

During an interview on “Michigan’s Big Show” on Monday, host Michael Patrick Shells asked DePerno if he had voting machines in hotel rooms.

“I have nothing to do with any hotel rooms or any Airbnbs,” DiPerno replied.

He added, “90% of the facts you provide, which you call facts, in your petition are either false or I have no knowledge of what you’re talking about.”

DiPerno, the attorney from Kalamazoo, who has highlighted unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in the 2020 election, accused Nessel of “arming” her office and trying to damage it politically.

“This is appalling for an attorney general if he is up against a political opponent,” DiPerno said.

In his campaign to be Michigan’s chief law enforcement official, DiPerno has pursued prosecutions against Nessel and Goff. Gretchen Whitmer is part of his platform.

The campaign store on DePerno’s website currently sells small stickers that say “Lock Whitmer & Nessel up” for $12.

In February, Benson asked Nessel’s office and Michigan State Police to investigate reports that an “unnamed third party” had been granted access to voting technology in Roscommon County.

On April 23, Michigan Republican Party activists approved DiPerno as their candidate for attorney general. Republicans are scheduled to meet on August 3. 27 at the state convention to formally nominate DePerno to be in November. 8 ballot papers.

A months-long investigation in Nessl’s office on Friday petitioned the Michigan Prosecution Counsel’s Coordinating Board to appoint a special prosecutor because of the conflict of interest caused by Nessel and DiPerno being political opponents.

The petition stated that “the time has come for the Public Prosecution office to review the charges.”

The petition says that potential charges include “but are not limited to” conspiracy, using a computer system to commit a crime, intentionally damaging a voting machine, malicious destruction of property, fraudulent access to a computer or computer system, and false allegations.

Five scheduling tools have been moved from local clerks in three Michigan counties to Airbnb hotels or rentals in Oakland County, according to the attorney general’s office.

The petition stated that four individuals—Ben Cotton, Jeff Lyenberg, Douglas Logan, and James Penrose—”broke into the streams and run ‘tests’ on the equipment.”

“It was determined during the investigation that DiPerno was present in a hotel room during this ‘exam’,” the petition to the special prosecutor reads.

The attorney general’s office says there are links between the two tables, which were taken from local clerks, and DePerno’s legal efforts to investigate elections in Antrim County, northern Michigan. Preliminary results of the elections in the conservative Northern District showed Biden winning, but were later corrected to show Trump had won.

The problematic raw numbers were caused by human errors: election workers failed to update equipment after additions to the ballot. However, DePerno and his supporters have claimed that the problems were caused by the technology itself. They have also suggested fraud and hacking.

According to Grossi’s new letter to Benson, an image of a stream taken from Roscommon County was used as an exhibit by DiPerno in his Antrim County case. The petition said his website showed a video showing a tab with a red tape placed “in a distinctive manner on the stamp number and other identifying information.”

The attorney general’s office said that when a tabernacle device taken from Lake City Township was sewn by authorities, they found that the number stamp on the machine was covered in “red tape in the same manner as that on the table shown in the video.” .

Similarly, DePerno solicited information from Verizon about certain modems. The modems for which he sought information, citing their ID numbers, were those of two schedulers belonging to the town of Richfield and one scheduler of Roscommon County.

An expert told state authorities that the only way to get the ID numbers from the schedulers “is to open the security seals and physically remove the outer panels to look inside the schedulers and read the ID numbers on the modems,” the letter to Benson said.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

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