A longtime critic of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and a key witness in a criminal case against a Detroit council member paid a private investigator to track the mayor for months.
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Bob Carmack, the owner of a Detroit collision shop, is currently suing the city on a number of fronts and has been attempting to secure Duggan’s deposition as part of one of his lawsuits.
The video, distributed to 7 Action News and other news organizations, purports to show about a half-dozen instances of Duggan driving himself, after work hours, to a home in Novi where he spent between a few minutes to a few hours there before returning to Detroit.
Yesterday, Carmack was playing the video on large, mobile video billboards that he drove throughout the city.
“I wanted to investigate him to see what kind of character he is,” Carmack said. “Let him explain what’s going on.”
Carmack said he initially hired the private investigator to learn if Duggan was really living in Detroit. He claims the video is evidence of an affair between Duggan and a woman who is not his wife, but acknowledged he has no evidence to prove as such.
“I don’t peak through the windows like a peeping Tom,” Carmack said.
7 Action News is not naming the woman Duggan is alleged to have visited.
In a statement, Duggan and his wife, Lori Maher, called Carmack’s video a “terrible invasion of privacy” that “failed to uncover a single misdeed in the management of the city.”
Carmack has claimed in lawsuits that Duggan played a role in the demolition of a piece of property he claims he owned. The city disagrees, saying that it bought the property eight years ago after it was foreclosed on.
In a separate lawsuit, the city claims he fraudulently obtained a title to 10 acres of city land along the riverfront and sold it for a $750,000 profit. Carmack disputes that he did anything improper.
Carmack is a key witness in the bribery case of city council member Gabe Leland, who Carmack months ago said he wore a wire to record evidence of Leland accepting a $15,000 bribe. Leland was indicted for bribery last month.
Mayor Duggan and his wife’s full statement:
A litigant, angry to be losing a case to the Detroit Law Department, apparently decided to retaliate by hiring private investigators to follow the Mayor without his knowledge for several months. And in the end, their surveillance failed to uncover a single misdeed in the management of the city.
If that terrible invasion of privacy weren’t enough, it got worse. This same angry litigant then took individual videos of cars driving, spliced them together, and added assumptions and insinuations, all so he could create a negative judgment on the state of our marriage.
We decided to write this statement together because we are proud of the marriage we’ve built over 32 years, proud that our bond today remains strong, and proud of our goal to spend the rest of our lives together.
When you elect a public official you have every right to pass judgment on their performance in office. But you don’t get the right to pry into their personal lives, or demand information on their marriage. At least that’s how we feel and why we don’t answer questions about ours.