MARQUETTE — The Detroit Free Press published an article last Friday that links State Senator Tom Casperson to the FBI’s investigation into a multi-million dollar contract between a downstate towing company and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
According to the article, Gasper Fiore’s company is being investigated for bid rigging. The article says that Fiore was so “politically connected” that his daughter, Jennifer, helped write an amendment to MDOT’s budget to ensure that his company would secure the deal.
One of the wire-taped conversations mentions a meeting with Casperson, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. Casperson said a representative for Jennifer Fiore set up the meeting between them to discuss an issue with the bidding process for the contract with MDOT.
“They felt that MDOT may not follow through with the bid process and kind of set it up in a way that somebody else would get it. They didn’t know that for sure, but they were concerned about it and they asked if I would look into it, and I said I would if they needed me to, because I could agree that the bid process should be fair,” he said.
He added that after that meeting, the Fiores never followed up with him and requested him to look into the bid process, nor did he follow up with MDOT himself. Before that meeting, Casperson said he had only met the Fiores in a brief moment years ago at a campaign event.
In the wire-taped conversation, Gasper asks Jennifer what she thought about Casperson and they discuss payment of someone named “Randy.” It is unclear who “Randy” is, but Casperson said that in his conversation with Jennifer, they never discussed money.
“I know what people might assume when they see it, but it’s simply not true. I have done nothing here, other than I met with some people when I was running for Congress and I had a meeting in my office based on some people involved with transportation issues. Their representative brought them in and that was really the extent of it, nothing more,” said Casperson. “I didn’t know any of the stuff that I am reading about behind the scenes. I’m not aware of any of that.”
Casperson also said that he was unaware of any amendment through MDOT or follow-through from the Fiores on the matter. There are 18 people total targeted in the probe.