Whistleblowing janitor at Dearborn Heights schools says nothing has changed since OSHA report

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 23:22:39-04

A Dearborn Heights whistleblower is asking the school district for answers on an OSHA report.

More than two weeks after OSHA confirmed asbestos exposure at two Dearborn Heights schools, Theresa Ely said no changes are happening at the district.

Ely wants both testing and managers held accountable. She attended the Dearborn Heights school board meeting on Tuesday night to ask for answers.

The asbestos exposure dates back a few years. Ely and other janitors were required to dry sand tiles that contained asbestos.

"The sanding took place at Madison Elementary in 2011 and again in 2012 at Annapolis High School,” said Ely.

The OSHA report confirms her boss falsified the original asbestos report and didn’t provide training or protective gear while she worked.

Ely said students were also present at the schools.

"My biggest fear is for the children,” said Ely.

OSHA also awarded more than $200,000 for her experience, but she hasn’t seen any money yet.

"No matter how much money they give me, it can not take back what they have given me, which is asbestos fibers in the my lungs,” said Ely.

There have been no changes at the district, no one has been fired and Ely continues to show up to work on a daily basis.

"Nothing has changed in day-to-day operations since this report came out, since their findings have come out and that is troubling me the most,” said Ely.

She hopes parents also start speaking up about the issue.

"I encourage the parents and the members of this community to keep contacting the board of education and urging them to take action, your child, your community, it has to start somewhere,” said Ely.

After Tuesday’s board meeting, 7 Action News spoke with the Dearborn Heights Superintendent, John Fazer.  He said he couldn’t comment on the issue because there is litigation pending.