Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

AG Investigating Complaint Against Former Education Board Member

08/05/22 10:51 AM By Emily Michienzi

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 08/04/2022) The Michigan Attorney General’s Office is looking into a complaint filed by a one-time business partner of former Board of Education member Jason Strayhorn, who resigned from office July 29 for what he said was an unrelated reason.


Alysa Kowalsky, a former business partner at Maven Properties LLC, said she filed the complaint against Strayhorn with the Attorney General and West Bloomfield Township Police in July.


Both the AG and West Bloomfield confirm the complaints were filed, but West Bloomfield police said no crime took place in the township.  A third complaint was filed in Novi, but Novi police referred to the West Bloomfield case.


The Attorney General’s Office could not comment on the details of the investigation.


Maven was a property management business that is being sued in Wayne and Oakland counties by three companies that claim they never received rent collected by Maven. They also claimed to not have received tens of thousands of dollars in COVID Emergency Rental Assistance, or CERA, funds administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 


Idangar LLC and Cadieux Express LLC, the companies named in the Wayne County lawsuit filed in May 2022, also claim Strayhorn's company received money for house repairs and rehabilitation that was never completed, according to court paperwork.


Where did that money go? Kowalsky said Strayhorn was accusing her of stealing the money, but . . .


“There is somewhere between $600,000 to $1 million missing from our bank account,” Kowalsky said.


She said $20,000 of the funds that went missing were CERA funds bound for the landlords.


The CERA program was closed for applications in Michigan June 30 and is expected to run out of money soon.


One of the damages sought in Wayne County is $30,000 in CERA funds for about a dozen Detroit rentals.


The Wayne County lawsuit is seeking $25,000 and forced arbitration for breach of contract.


The Oakland County lawsuit, which was filed in November 2020, accuses both Kowalsky and Strayhorn of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and embezzlement. The company is looking to recover $44,000.


The company also says in the lawsuit paperwork that it hired Maven for repairs that were never completed.


Kowalsky said she is also being sued by Strayhorn and said she is also suing Strayhorn.


Strayhorn said he is moving to help his three children in their academic and athletic endeavors. He said he can’t continue to be on the Board of Education if he no longer lives in Michigan.


“It was not an easy decision to leave,” Strayhorn said.  “It just made sense for us to relocate.”


During the conversation with MIRS, Strayhorn said he hoped to return to live in Michigan in the future.


He told the Lansing State Journal that the move has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed against him. He couldn’t be reached for comment today after several attempts.