(WXYZ) — Michigan State Police are under fire as one of their finest is taking the department to court for claiming to be terminated after exposing the alleged wrongdoings of his superiors.
32-year-old Mark Andrews was relieved of all his duties as a Michigan State Trooper after he says he reported fellow officers drinking alcohol on the job and violating COVID-19 guidelines.
"This meeting by supervisors was done at a Sergeant's private home. They were told to dress in civilian clothes, not bring patrol cars, they are still on shift, God forbid if there were a critical incident, regardless, of the drinking accept, they are not responding," said Terminated MSP Trooper Mark Andrews.
After learning about the incident, Andrews reported it up the chain of command. He says as a form of retaliation, he was investigated and transferred from Monroe to Metro south post to work the desk.
"I’m a field training officer, a nationally certified fire investigator, an accident investigator, and all these skills and specialties that they’ve paid a lot of money to train me in, now I'm sitting at the front desk," said Andrews.
An Ida native, Andrews' childhood dream was to be a Michigan State Police trooper. He started his public service journey as a firefighter in his hometown, and later enlisted in the Ohio National Guard before becoming a state trooper in 2012. For Andrews, no one is above the law, which left him no choice but to write a letter to Governor Whitmer requesting a hearing for the alleged house party. Andrews’ attorney, Jonathan Mark, says resulted in termination and additional charges against his client.
"The main charge, and the latest charge against Trooper Andrews, the Michigan State Police admits is all related to his complaint to Governor Whitmer," said Attorney Jonathan Mark from Marko Law Firm.
In an official statement to 7 Action News, MSP spokesperson, Lieutenant Shaw writes, "An Internal Affairs investigation established that the letter contained false allegations of misconduct by command members of the department. Andrews authored this letter with a reckless disregard for the truth. Also, during his investigatory interview, Andrews was not truthful about how he obtained knowledge of the post-meeting."
"Unfortunately, there is a culture, that rewards those in power and doesn’t hold them accountable," said Mark.
That’s why a whistleblower suit against the MSP has been filed alleging wrongful dismissal and violation of his rights under the Veterans' Preference Act.
"Having his career tarnished and ruined, by the MSP, so certainly there is an economic component to that but also through these cases, they will make some changes" said Mark.
"99% of the troopers and police officers are outstanding people," said Mark. "It's the unfortunate few who oftentimes get administration positions, and they use it to their benefit."
Mark also added that the whole situation makes him feel disgusted. especially since he has done nothing but pour his heart and soul into this profession.
Now attorneys at Marko Law say that they expect to hear back from MSP sometime next month, but in the meantime, trooper Andrews’ services remain terminated as he waits for justice.