Dear Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

I realize the state of Michigan is out of your jurisdiction, but I wanted to bring to your attention that one of your citizens has been in our state for nearly four years and frankly, we're really sick and tired of him.

Illinois resident Richard Baird came to Michigan in 2011 after his former employee, Rick Snyder was elected governor. Once Baird arrived in Michigan, he bought a house in Bath Township outside of Lansing and started a consulting firm for a single client – Governor Rick Snyder. This consulting firm run by Baird took an office right next to the Governor's at the Capital in Lansing and began working for the governor in secret. You see, we didn't know who Richard Baird was until some unpleasant things were made public about him and what he was doing. It started with something called “Skunkworks.”

Skunkworks in Michigan had nothing to do with Lil' Abner, moonshine, or even Lockheed. Skunkworks became the name for secret meetings being held where plans to set up a back door school voucher system were discussed. The only problem with that is school vouchers are unconstitutional in Michigan, which is why the meetings were secret, and involved no one from the Michigan Department of Education or from any public schools. Then we found out that while Rick Snyder was telling the public he didn't think Detroit would ever be in a financial emergency, Richard Baird was already interviewing Kevyn Orr for the job of being Detroit's emergency manager. But wait, there's more. We found out that Richard Baird helped Rick Snyder's cousin get a sweet furniture contract with the state, while everyone else was suffering budget cuts due to “shared sacrifice.” None of this was public knowledge to the state until people began digging to find out who this secret guy in the office next door to Rick Snyder's was and what he was doing here.

We eventually found who Richard Baird was, and that his consulting fees were being paid through a secret fund called the NERD fund. Secret consultant, being paid through a secret fund of undisclosed donors and doing shadow government work in Michigan. I'm sure you can understand how annoyed the good people of Michigan were and still are with this guy and what he's been doing. He told a judge when he was ordered to divulge the names of who he talked to when he vetted Kevyn Orr that he didn't have to tell him, because Rick Snyder gave him executive privilege. Then Baird's lawyer cited Richard Nixon's attempts to not release documents about Watergate as a precedent. I'm not a lawyer, but that sounds like hogwash to me. It certainly did to the judge.

Despite being outed to the state, given a title as “transformation officer” in the Governor's office and being put on the state payroll instead of being paid through the secret NERD fund, Richard Baird has still been a problem for the good people of Michigan, and still doing stuff that's not legal. Rick Snyder decided he needed lots of delegates at the Republican convention in August so he made a list of names to add and he included Richard Baird. By doing this, the state became aware of some interesting things. Richard Baird owns two houses, one in Illinois, where his family lives, and one in Michigan where he lives on weekdays while he's here being Rick Snyder's personal consultant and transformation officer. He filed a primary residence exemption on both houses, which is illegal, and he was also registered to vote in both states. That's illegal too. When this was all exposed, Baird paid the money owed to Michigan, but did so while blaming it on the assessor who wasn't really at fault, but had to take the blame anyway because Richard Baird certainly can't take any responsibility.

And there are even more more problems with Richard Baird being very confused about which state he actually lives in. Currently, he drives a Mercedes SUV GL550 on Illinois plates and driver's license that expired on August 24. In the state of Michigan you're required to change the registration and title on your vehicle immediately after becoming a resident. Mr. Baird has lived in Michigan on weekdays since 2011 in a house that apparently until a few weeks ago was listed as his primary residence and registered to vote. He's already committed a misdemeanor in Michigan for not changing the license plate on his vehicle. In Illinois he still owns a house and claims it as a primary residence because the wife and kids live there, but I was wondering, is he evading his mandatory Illinois vehicle emissions test and tax by driving in Michigan on expired Illinois plates? Here in the state of Michigan you can drive your clunker until it falls to pieces and no one bats an eye as long as you pay your annual registration fee.

So here is my question for you: Is there any way possible that you could come and get Richard Baird and remove him from the state of Michigan? He doesn't seem to know where he lives and he's driving on expired Illinois plates and driver's license in Michigan. He's done nothing good while he's been here and as far as anyone can tell, he's breaking the law in two states. Your time and consideration of this serious matter is deeply appreciated.


A Concerned Michigan Resident

  • September 13, 2014
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