LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced April 18 that his office filed a complaint against Maria Louisa Mason of Williamston over allegations of stealing money from a state fund designed to protect a memorial statue.
“I have said it before and will continue to, public officials are held to a higher standard,” Schuette said. “Ms. Mason was allegedly using funds dedicated to a memorial statue to instead fund her personal expenses and now she is facing the consequences.”
According to allegations, the 80-year-old Mason was the former executive director of the Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission within the Department of Civil Rights. She purportedly stole money that had been given to the state for the construction of a statue honoring Cesar Chavez. Mason embezzled more than $73,500, the state alleges, and used the money to pay off numerous credit cards.
"The Michigan State Police is committed to protecting the citizens of Michigan and that includes holding public officials accountable if they abuse their power,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. "The MSP does not tolerate any type of criminal behavior.”