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Man who tore down Detroit lawmaker's house explains why

Posted: 6:29 PM, Dec 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-09 18:29:46-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We are learning new information about how a demo crew tore down a house owned by a Detroit lawmaker. Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) says she planned to fix the house up and give it to a deserving family.

As she learns about how it was torn down, she is calling for change.

7 Action News has obtained the proposed meeting minutes from a special session of the Wrecking Board of Examiners. During the meeting held October 30th, minutes say Harvey Gipson from Gipson Trucking spoke.

He told the board a man from Nate’s Landscaping told him to tear down 14567 Minock in Detroit. So he did. He told the board he had no legal documentation showing he was supposed to.

7 Action News reached out to Nate’s Landscaping. The company tells us it had asked for quotes for the demolition of that property, but never pulled the permit or asked for it to be done.

“Just as you are shocked, we are,” said Glenn Davis, Chairman of the Wrecking Board of Examiners.

Davis says city processes simply were not followed and consequences will be discussed at the next wrecking board meeting.

Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo says she is angry she was not notified that a special meeting was scheduled to specifically address what happened to her house. If you take a look on line you can see that notice of meetings hasn’t been posted since 2018 on-line.

“This is 2019. Something nefarious is happening when you don’t want the voice of citizens engaged in the process,” said Rep. Gay-Dagnogo.

She says when she tried to learn more about the board she was shocked to learn that two members are from the wrecking industry.

“Anytime you are able to bid on contracts, but yet serve on the entity that determines malfeasance or problems, they’re compromised,” she said.

“That has been the code for 40 years,” said Davis.

Davis said that there are only two industry appointees on the seven-member board. As a result, he says they do not have veto power, but do provide expert opinion.

Davis says he will see that the meeting schedules moving forward are posted on-line. He says the city has complied with open meetings act requirements by posting them on a wall at city hall.