Edwards Probe Flawed

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Editor:

Your article about a Bob Edwards probe in (the Feb. 3 edition of the Payson Roundup) is as flawed as the probe that it reports. Your heading is "Private eye probe of candidate flawed." A close look at your reporter's story leads me to say "Reporter's story flawed."

You say that "an employee" accused Edwards of not paying unemployment taxes. In fact, the Detroit Free Press article, to which you refer, states that Edwards "comes to the job from a debt-plagued Flint-area business amid allegations from ex-employees that he improperly avoided payment of unemployment taxes."

You say that an April 30 article in the Detroit Free Press reported, "Edwards had been cleared of the charges." In fact, the state agency where he worked found out about this matter after he was appointed to that office. The agency obviously avoided embarrassment by doing a quick whitewash.

You failed to disclose that the (April 1991) article goes on to state that the Edwards Professional Realty Group (PRG) had been ordered to pay $157,000 for defaulting on its obligations, that Edwards and his wife owed an IRS tax lien of $6,217 and Edwards claimed to have earned only $26,000 in the last three years.

According to divorce documents, the company owed $17,000 in property taxes on 17 of its low-income rentals in Flint.

The article also stated, "Still pending are hearings by the state House Oversight Committee that said in March (1991) after the Free Press report appeared that it ‘would investigate.'"

The Roundup said that Edwards was in the real estate business before he entered politics, but failed to mention that he is in Michigan real estate again and is actively seeking real estate sales opportunities in Michigan.

Once again, you selectively researched your story and left out at least as much information as the private investigation left out.

Edwards is a Michigan politician and a shady real estate character with a spotty past. Payson voters do not need to have him in office when history repeats itself, as it always does.

Laura Groessl, Payson

Editor's note: The Payson Roundup consulted with the original reporter at the Detroit Free Press, members of the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC) and consulted Michigan court records, as stated in our Feb. 3 report. After those conversations and our research, the Roundup stands by its story.

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