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The Latest: Judge halts subpoenas in suit against Schuette

July 31, 2018

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on emails in which Attorney General Bill Schuette discusses presidential politics (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

A Michigan judge has granted Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to halt the production of documents in a lawsuit that a Democrat filed against him until the judge rules on Schuette’s motion to dismiss the case.

Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray stayed discovery on Tuesday, a day after Schuette sought a protective order.

Hugh Madden, who works at the liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan, sued Schuette in May, alleging that he has used his office as a “political enterprise” by taking steps such as hiring political operatives for state jobs.

Madden’s lawyer last week sent 37 subpoenas to current and former attorney general employees and others.

Schuette, who has sought dismissal of the lawsuit, asked Murray to halt discovery because the subpoenas “are overbroad, non-compliant with the court rules, and harassing.”

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3:30 p.m.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette scheduled a meeting with state employees to discuss presidential politics during work hours and later sent follow-up emails dangling financial incentives to those who secured endorsements for Jeb Bush.

The emails were first uncovered by the Detroit Free Press Tuesday and later obtained by The Associated Press. Schuette is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in next week’s primary.

The emails — which went to personal, not state accounts — are from 2015, when Schuette endorsed Bush for president. In two, which Schuette sent outside normal work hours, he enticed state staffers with gift certificates for landing the most endorsements.

Gubernatorial rival Brian Calley says Schuette is in “serious legal jeopardy” and his nomination would put Republicans at risk up and down the ballot.

A Schuette spokeswoman says he used his personal email and time to offer opportunities to assist with the presidential election, and the employees were expected to take time off or use their lunch hour when participating in activities unrelated to their state job.

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