The Gongwer Blog

Chatfield Brothers Find Jobs In House

By Alethia Kasben
Managing Editor
Posted: April 25, 2024 11:00 AM

Two of Rep. Lee Chatfield's brothers have been hired into the House of Representatives to work in member offices and caucus services.

Paul and Aaron Chatfield, two younger brothers of Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), a top ranking member of the House Republican caucus as speaker pro tempore, key committee chair and close ally of House Speaker Tom Leonard, were hired into the offices of Rep. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine) and Rep. Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis), respectively, at the beginning of the term.

Friday is Paul Chatfield's last day in Ms. Allor's office as he heads to Caucus Services, a team led by Robert Minard and former Rep. Pat Somerville. Mr. Minard formerly worked in Lee Chatfield's legislative office as well.

Ms. Allor said she was not approached by Lee Chatfield before hiring Paul Chatfield. She said she met him while campaigning and he expressed an interest to her about working in a legislative office. Ms. Allor said there was no contact between her and Lee Chatfield regarding the hiring decision.

Lee Chatfield did not return a request for comment on this story.

Mr. Miller also said he knew Aaron Chatfield from campaigning, and Lee Chatfield mentioned to him that Aaron was interested in working in a legislative office at the start of the term.

Mr. Miller said Aaron Chatfield submitted an application and went through the interview process normally.

"Lee and I are obviously very close. I will admit that to anybody," Mr. Miller said. "But (the hiring) has not led to any uncomfortable situations."

Mr. Miller said he and Aaron Chatfield do not discuss policy and "inside baseball."

In the House and Senate, members cannot hire their own relatives, though the Senate rules include the caveat that the majority leader can make exceptions. The human resources policy in the House also stipulates that applicants cannot be discriminated against because of a familiarity with members or other staff.

Nonetheless, it is rare for immediate family members of a legislator who have no prior experience working in the Legislature or state government to become legislative staffers.

Gideon D'Assandro, spokesperson for House Republicans, said Paul Chatfield is qualified and will be an asset to caucus services.

"He's done a great job," Mr. D'Assandro said. "We are excited to have him."

According to salary information available online, Paul Chatfield makes $40,000 and will continue at that rate while in Caucus Services, Mr. D'Assandro said. Aaron Chatfield makes $36,247 annually in Mr. Miller's office.

Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Republicans, said there are no senators' relatives working for other members or central staff in the chamber.

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