LANSING (WJBK) - Instead of going to work, Bettie Cook Scott has been literally phoning it in for the last three months.
No one was looking out for the interests of people who live on Detroit's east side or in the Grosse Pointes on Nov. 8. That's because the person who is supposed to represent them had more pressing business.
M.L. Elrick: "Representative Scott, we missed you at work today. why weren't you in Lansing today? were the sales that good at the beauty supply shop?"
Elrick: "Are you calling in another excuse for not going in to work today?"
Rep. Scott has missed more votes than any other state representative since she took office in January 2017.
She ranks 110th out of 110 state reps and her colleagues say they have not seen her in Lansing since August.
Elrick: “Your colleagues went to work today, you went to the post office, the Dollar Tree, the bank, Gordon Food Service, Parkway and the beauty shop. is that more important than doing the people's business?
The right honorable Ms. Scott isn't talking but her actions speak volumes. She has been a missing person in Lansing since voters rejected her on Aug. 7.
State House Democratic floor leader Rep. Greig reads names of excused lawmakers.
Instead, they chose Stephanie Chang to be the Democratic party nominee for the for the first District Senate seat.
Rep. Scott has asked legislative leaders to excuse her absence every time they've taken attendance since her decisive defeat.
Elrick: “Are you just a loser, or a sore loser here?”
Since lawmakers are paid more than $71,000 a year, I figure Rep. Scott has received $18,000 of your money without going to the office.
Elrick: “Taxpayers are going to pay you through the end of the year. Would you like to work through the end of the year?”
While Scott doesn't seem eager to go to work, a former top aide says she shouldn't be allowed to return to work.
“She misrepresented her constituents who elected her,” said Alex Albritton. “To me, that was the biggest theft of all.”
Albritton, is a long-time political operative who worked on Scott's Senate campaign. He is the latest voice to join the chorus of people who have told me Scott has lied about where she really lives.
This is a big deal, because the Michigan Constitution says that a lawmaker who lives outside the district forfeits their right to hold office.
And even though Scott claims she lives on Gravier, Albritton says she really lives here, on Kensington.
Elrick: “How did you find out about her deception?”
“Believe it or not, by her own admission,” Albritton said. “She lives on Kensington.”
Elrick: “That's 4800 Kensington?”
“Yes … four or five times during the campaign cycle she admitted to me openly that she lives at 4800 Kensington,” Albritton said.
Albritton is coming forward as a matter of honor. He says he didn't learn until after Scott lost in the Senate primary that her Kensington home is outside the district she's been representing for the past two years.
“She misrepresented the very people who put her in office and to me, that was the biggest violation, much bigger than her lying to me,” Albritton said. “People deserve representation. they deserve it.”
To verify Albritton's allegations, we performed several spot checks at 4800 Kensington. Almost every time we stopped by, we caught Scott living where she says she does not live.
Elrick: “We see you at 4800 Kensington again. have you just given up on the taxpayers?”
Tom Leonard is the speaker of the Michigan House. He says the last time lawmakers were expelled, it took six weeks to get the job done.
Leonard says Scott should be expelled for living outside her district, but there just isn't enough time left before her term ends at the end of the year.
“Worst case scenario, we would not have time to get it done,” Leonard said. “The best case scenario, it would eat away a lot of the time that we have left to get good work done for the people of this state. and, quite frankly, I don't think Rep. Scott is worth it.”
Even though Scott may not deserve to serve out the rest of her term, Leonard says he's hoping she has enough respect for her constituents to start earning her pay.
“She has wasted enough of the hard working taxpayers' dollars here in this state,” Leonard said. “I just don't know how it would be fruitful to have the state of Michigan pay a state trooper to drive over to Detroit and force her to do her job. Again, she's wasted enough tax dollars. we don't need to see any more wasted.”
Meanwhile, on the east side ...
Elrick: “You know we can wait as long as it takes to get some answers.”
When Rep. Scott finally rolled down her window, it wasn't really worth the wait.
Elrick: “Ms. Cook-Scott, would you care to speak to us?”
Scott: “Talk to my attorney.”
Elrick: “Who's that?”
Scott: “William Noakes.”
Elrick: “How about you talk to us. you're the lawmaker.”
Scott: “Talk to my attorney.”
Scott then sped away, driving through a stop sign while she was at it. Lawmaker - or lawbreaker? You decide.
FOX 2 tried connecting with Mr. Noakes, but after saying he would talk to Elrick last week, he never followed through.