City of Detroit Office of Inspector General investigates Detroit city clerk campaign

The Michigan inspector general is out with a new report, stating a deputy of Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey abused their authority.

DETROIT – The City of Detroit Office of Inspector General is out with a new report saying a deputy of Detroit city clerk, Janice Winfrey, abused their authority. That report states that Reuben Washington used the clerk’s office to organize petition signatures for Winfrey’s campaign for congress.

The report found Detroit’s Deputy Elections Director Ruben Washington abused his authority during two training sessions in the spring. The city’s office of the inspector general released its findings in late June.

According to the report, Washington abused his authority by using city resources and city property for political activities during work hours by telling trainees that current city clerk Janice Winfrey was running for congress in Michigan’s newly drawn 12th district. Washington also passed out nominating petitions to election trainers at that session. Both instances violate the city’s charter.

Related: Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey says she’ll challenge U.S. Rep. Tlaib

Investigators did not find that Winfrey did anything wrong. According to an interview that was part of the report they said she was unaware that Washington had talked about her campaign while at work and that she had been very careful about mixing her work as city clerk with her campaign.

In a letter in the report, Washington wrote that he had read the report noting that he accepted responsibility and assured that this type of behavior would not occur again.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.