Sen. Runestad demands answers from MEDC as scrutiny mounts over $20M grant to executive committee member

Sen. Runestad demands answers from MEDC as scrutiny mounts over $20M grant to executive committee member

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jim Runestad on Monday sent a letter to Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin Messer demanding transparency and accountability over a $20 million grant to a Detroit-area businesswoman and MEDC executive committee member after media reports begin to outline a clear misuse of taxpayer funds.

The Detroit News recently reported how Fay Beydoun received a no-bid grant for her start-up company Global Link International. Records show how the MEDC executive board member has mismanaged taxpayer dollars, including a $4,500 expenditure for a coffee maker, $11,000 on a single flight to Budapest, and $408,000 in salaries for herself and one other employee over a three-month period.

“The MEDC must answer for the negligence and corruption demonstrated by this grant,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “This is supposed to be an organization that builds Michigan’s economy — instead, what we are seeing is a grave misuse of funds to support its board members’ own living standard.”

In his letter, Runestad specifically asks Messer to answer the following questions:

  • Did you ever convey support or opposition for granting the $20 million no-bid contract to MEDC executive committee member Fay Beydoun?
  • Was there an opportunity at any point for MEDC, as a fiduciary for the management of these funds, to advise on guardrails for the execution of this grant?
  • Going back through your records, have any other MEDC executive committee members received funds through MEDC for an entity that they were involved with? If so, please provide their names and the funds they received.
  • Going forward, what steps do you propose that will ensure that MEDC respects their fiduciary responsibility and that will ensure that proper guardrails to MEDC grants are put in place?

“The MEDC has been turned into a dark money slush fund for those in power,” Runestad said. “Deals like these are crafted in back rooms in the dark of night by the powerbrokers right before the budget is voted on. We need far more oversight on MEDC projects, and I will not stop until we have total transparency on who these funds are going to, and why.”

A copy of the letter can be requested by contacting Runestad’s office at [email protected].

Skip to content