Governor Snyder's controversial NERD Fund to be shut down, replaced with "transparent" non-profit

(WXYZ) - Governor Rick Snyder's controversial NERD Fund will be dissolved, according to the fund's president.

"We're shutting her down," said Charlie Secchia, who heads up the non-profit. The non-profit's final meeting will be this week. He said a formal announcement is planned for tomorrow or Wednesday.

The NERD Fund came under scrutiny following a report last year by 7 Action News .

It was founded to "lessen the burdens of government" and promote the state's "common good," but kept donors to a secret.  Until recently, those donors paid the salary of powerful Snyder aide Richard Baird and covered some of the living expenses of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

The fund also paid for a new security system in Snyder's Ann Arbor home, as well as new furniture totaling $130,000.

Secchia did not indicate that the fund would be disclosing its past donors, who gave nearly $1.7 million in 2010 and 2011.

"If we're going to run on the theme of transparency, we ought to be more transparent than we have to be, to put our acts and ways more in sync with the administration," Secchia said.

The NERD Fund will be replaced by a new fund, he said, and "it will be transparent."

Contact Investigator Ross Jones at rjones@wxyz.com or at (248) 827-9466.

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