Defenders investigate after Ecorse Public Safety director fired

Whistleblower lawsuit filed against City of Ecorse

Questions surround firing, replacement of Ecorse public safety director

ECORSE, Mich.Ecorse City Council fired the city’s public safety director at a meeting on Tuesday after he filed a whistleblower lawsuit.

Former Director Joseph Thomas had no idea he had been fired until the Local 4 Defenders contacted his attorney on Wednesday.

Wayne County’s Attorney General and the FBI have an ongoing investigation regarding deals with stolen cars that Ecorse handled. Allegedly, a stolen car was sold to the city’s mayor for $500 instead of going to the rightful owner.

READ: Council member calls for Mayor of Ecorse to be removed from office just after being re-elected

City Council voided Thomas’ contract without his knowledge and installed Deputy Narda Bruno as interim director.

Local 4 obtained audio from Tuesday night’s Ecorse City Council meeting. The audio is of the council voting to oust its Public Safety director and installing Bruno as the director.

“The council hereby appoints Deputy Director Narda Bruno as the Interim Director of Public Safety,” council members could be heard saying.

Thomas said he found corruption within the police and city government and is now facing retaliation for doing the job he was brought in to do.

Bruno had previously filed a discrimination complaint against Ecorse. What wasn’t made public is her agreement stating that she gets the $90,000 a year job as director and a $300,000 settlement.

Thomas’ attorney Leonard Mungo, said his client did not know he was replaced until Mungo called him Wednesday afternoon.

“Absolutely no idea. He was on vacation. He was out of town,” Mungo said.

Late Wednesday night, attorney Ed Plato released a response to this news article. That response is available below:

READ: More Defenders coverage


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.