SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Detroit NAACP is raising concerns about a possible choice for leading the state’s top agency investigating civil rights. In less than 24 hours, the next leader of the Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights could be selected by a vote of the board of commissioners.
“We are very concerned. We don’t think on the job training is appropriate for a director position at MDOCR. The only name being considered Monday is a former Synder administration appointee” says NAACP attorney Chui Karega.
Harvey Hollins III became known to many Michiganders during the Flint Water Crisis. At the time, he served as a top advisor to former Gov. Rick Snyder. “We don’t know the full extent of his involvement because so many emails were withheld by the Synder administration, giving us grave concern” says Karega.
Hollins III now works as a consultant. But he previously had responsibilities that included informing Snyder about the crisis, and a connection to Legionnaires disease. A second finalist for the job at MDOCR recently backed out, leaving only Hollins III remaining.
Karega says he’s hopeful other candidates will be considered for the position. He adds “We are now in a desperate time where the civil rights laws are going to become major, and you can’t have a novice at the head of the organization.”
Several commissioners declined to do an interview with us. Harvey Hollins III also declined, saying he didn’t want to comment out of respect for the process.