Detroit City Council may cut off demo company over employee's use of the N-word

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-24 18:36:09-04

Detroit City Council leaders are threatening to cut off work with a contractor demolishing homes for the Detroit Land Bank Authority. 

It comes after one of the company's workers allegedly called city workers the N-word at a job site.

City officials say it happened after an argument over a downed tree at a demolition site.  

A worker for Den-Man lost his temper, cussed at and threatened to fight building authority employees. After walking away, he called them the N-word.  

“We aren’t tolerating that in the City of Detroit,” said Mayor Michael Duggan.

 Mayor Duggan said its good to hear the company no longer employs the worker responsible.

“I thought it was very well handled, but we won’t put up with it,” said Duggan.

“We have to ensure that everyone in the city is respected,” said Mary Sheffield, City Council President Pro Tem.

Sheffield took it a step further, saying she felt the city should stop working with Den-Man.  

She says the company that has performed hundreds of city and Detroit Land Bank funded demolitions, totaling millions of dollars, has had problems in the past.

“Illegal dumping holes not being filled. It leads me to believe I need to not support this contractor, moving forward at this time,” said Sheffield.

“When you have a subcontractor go rogue, you can’t predict that is going to happen. All you can do is clean up after it to the best standard that there is,” said Rebecca Camargo, an attorney for Den-Man.

She says in April the company’s subcontractor illegally dumped dirt and materials on a woman’s property, but she says the company cleaned up the mess.

She says the company’s owner is responding again, making sure all employees have diversity training and know what their former co-worker did is not okay.  

The man is no longer employed by Den-Man.

“He’s been in business 30 years, never had an issue like this. It is all shocking, and he is still reeling from this whole thing,” said Camargo.