South Lyon councilwoman granted PPO against fellow council member

Mary Parisien says Carl Richards has been harassing her

By Nick Monacelli - Reporter

SOUTH LYON, Mich. - Even if there were important city matters on Monday night's agenda, the only news coming from South Lyon's City Council meeting is that one councilman can't even sit at the council table due to a news personal protection order. 

Councilwoman Mary Parisien explained she won a battle in court that granted a PPO against councilman Carl Richards. 

"I think it's important that the community is aware of the facts regarding some harassment that I have been enduring from councilman Richards," said Parisien. "On Oct. 31, a local business contacted me to let me know that Carl Richards was in their store and bragging about looking into the windows of my home. He made a series of grossly inappropriate comments about my person, my body and discriminatory comments regarding those of the LGBTQ community."

While Parisien read this statement at the meeting, Richards sat in the back of the room. His limited comments had nothing to do with the allegations of sexual harassment. 

"I urge everyone to remember that coming up is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor," he said. 

Parisien also said the Oakland County Sheriff's Department is investigating the matter and that the city of South Lyon has launched its own investigation to see if Richards' conduct violated ethics rules. 

"Making comments about my sexuality, who I am as an individual, how I dress, anything that has to do with me sexually is grossly inappropriate as an individual, but also as a council member -- we are held to higher standards. Carl Richards should not sit on this council. This behavior exhibited by him will only continue, and inevitably it will cost the city and continue to make headlines," said Parisien. 

The city's police department already has investigated the matter and the city prosecutor declined to do anything about this. 

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