WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is being sued by the city's former diversity coordinator, court documents released Monday reveal.
The lawsuit includes allegations of wrongful termination.
The lawsuit, brought by Gregory Murray, the former diversity coordinator for the city, claimed that Fouts "fostered a racially hostile environment." Murray claims he was fired for his efforts to address "racial injustice and civil rights" in the city, his attorney says.
Fouts says the new allegations against him and the city are both "baseless and frivolous," and he's far more interested in discussing the city's successes.
Fouts adds that he's proud of recently hiring more African-American and Hispanic people to serve in government than ever, particularly in the police and fire departments. As he seeks re-election, he tells 7 Action News claims made in a 22-page lawsuit filed by Murray are untrue.
However, Murray's Attorney Johnathan Marko is telling a different story, saying Murray was combating a toxic environment and hit a wall when he brought the issues to Fouts' attention.
Murray is now seeking back pay and additional compensation.
Marko says he also wants to change the culture in the meantime. Fouts claims he was blindsided by the lawsuit and that Murray left on his own. Furthermore, he insists adding a new police station, South City Offices and planning a new downtown along with addressing water drainage issues will benefit all people in his city.
Civil Rights Activist Bishop D. L. Bradly, a friend of Murray's, tells 7 Action News the issue of race can't be ignored and is personal for him and countless members of his church in Warren.