‘We want answers’ -- House for the needy in Detroit wrongfully demolished

House for needy wrongly demolished
House for needy wrongly demolished

DETROIT – Michigan lawmaker Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo is upset with the outcome of a long investigation into who mistakenly tore down her house and why.

MORE: City of Detroit says it didn’t order demolition of house meant for needy family

“I have a lot of unanswered questions,” Gay-Dagnogo said. “I was really taken aback to learn today that there are no charges. You can’t help but think that this rises to the occasion of a cover up.”

READ: Warrant denied in demolition of Michigan state representative’s nonprofit house

Gay-Dagnogo’s nonprofit group, Coalition to Integrate Technology and Education, bought a house on Minock Street in 2018. She was planning to fix the house up and to give it to a family in need for Christmas. Instead, the house was demolished.

READ: Detroit house meant to be rehabbed for deserving family demolished without warning

“A contractor with the city of Detroit jumps the gun and does the job without a permit, without permission,” Gay-Dagnogo said. “Who cut off the utility, who cut off the water?”

Gay-Dagnogo has been critical of the city’s demolition program in the past and considers that could have been a possible motive in the house’s destruction.

She said some of the paperwork she has seen shows the address of the home and she believes the demolition wasn’t a mistake.

“It really has me in a cloud of suspicion of wondering who, what, where, when and why,” Gay-Dagnogo said.

The man who tore down the house did not have confirmation that his bid was accepted and the prosecutor’s office called his mistake negligence.

The prosecutor isn’t pursuing charges, but that isn’t stopping Gay-Dagnogo, or her attorney, Lillian Diallo.

“It had a little go further up so we’re still moving forward,” Diallo said.

“This was well thought out, well planned and we want answers," Gay-Dagnogo said.

A representative for the city of Detroit said the person responsible for the demolition was not a city demolition contractor, that he had not been given a demolition contract or has been paid with the city’s demolition funds. The representative told Local 4 that Gay-Dagnogo’s belief the contractor was working for the city was “totally false.”

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.