New controversy in Detroit City Hall; deleted email 'to hide the facts'

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 20:55:22-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Michigan Attorney General and the Office of Inspector General inside city hall are now looking into deleted email that center on Mayor Mike Duggan, a woman he is connected to, and the non-profit program she runs with hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants from the city.

City officials confirm emails were deleted. They won’t say how many. They will only say they were retrieved from the server and turned over to the OIG and they are cooperating with them.

The questions came up earlier this year about a program called Make Your Date, a program to address low birth mortality in the city.

Doctor Sonia Hassan runs the program, we are told as a volunteer with no pay.

Last year, a private investigator recorded Mike Duggan visiting her home. Then Duggan this year announced he was getting a divorce.

The email center on city staff discussing funding for the program.

The city provided some $350,000 in federal grants for the program and did other fundraising efforts.

The city attorney says they look forward to the report from the OIG.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Attorney General confirms they got two complaints including this one from a city hall insider, Kennedy Shannon that stated:

I have personal knowledge that leadership of the Office of Development and Grants asked staff members to delete emails in an attempt by the Mayor’s office to hide facts regarding the (city's) true efforts regarding fundraising for this organization.

The spokesperson also gave 7 Action News this statement:

The Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office received two written complaints late last month and, at Attorney General Dana Nessel’s direction it is taking the steps necessary to determine the depth and breadth of our review and involvement.

Is this an ethical or criminal issue? That’s up to those two investigating agencies to determine.

The city also issued a new executive order dated July 3rd to cover management of city records and email.