Detroit employees directed to delete emails related to nonprofit, complaints allege

Michigan AG office looking into complaints

The city's chief financial officer and mayor became aware the emails were deleted and they have worked with information technology staffers to recover those emails two months ago. 

DETROIT - The Michigan Attorney General's Office is looking into whether Detroit employees were ordered to delete emails related to Make Your Date in order to conceal the extent of the city's support for the nonprofit. 

"We have opened a file on the criminal side of our department to review these two complaints which came in the form of letters. We believe they are former employees. The allegations are they were directed to delete emails related to Make Your Date. This would be classified as an initial review to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted," said Kelly Rossman-Mckinney, communications director for the AG's office.

John Roach, director of media relations for the city, said the Detroit Office of the Inspector General is investigating the emails. 

While the Detroit Office of the Inspector General was already investigating the Make Your Date program, it is now looking into the situation with the emails.

Detroit corporation counsel Lawrence Garcia issued the following statement to Local 4 in response: 

In early May, Mayor Duggan and Chief Financial Officer Dave Massaron learned about the possibility that some emails of staff of the Office of Chief Financial Officer related to Make Your Date may have been deleted.  CFO Massaron and Chief Development Officer Ryan Friedrichs promptly took the lead in the effort to recover the emails.  To the best of our knowledge, the deleted emails were successfully retrieved.    

Approximately two months ago, the Office of Inspector General was informed of the circumstances and was provided the emails recovered.

Given these events, I advised the Mayor to address the issue of email retention by adopting a new policy making the standard for email preservation clear to all city employees.  The Mayor issued that Executive Order last week.

The Inspector General has expressed a desire to complete the investigation with minimal comment from anyone within the scope of the investigation.  It is our intention to release the contents of all emails to the public as soon as the Inspector General permits.  In the meantime, we will continue to cooperate fully with the Inspector General’s investigation.

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