In a move rarely seen on TV news, Fox 2 apologized Wednesday night to Detroit Land Bank Director Carrie Lewand-Monroe for a report by Charlie LeDuff that accused her of perjury and lying at a pre-trial examination for a state contractor charged with fraud.
In December, the state attorney general charged contractor Barry Ellentuck, 53, of West Bloomfield, with overbilling the Detroit Land Bank Authority for asbestos removal and demolition services he didn't perform. Ellentuck awaits trial in Oakland County Circuit Court.
Lewand-Monroe testified at a pretrial hearing in Oakland County earlier this year, and LeDuff reported that emails show she lied on the stand.
The Land Bank disputes that and asked Fox 2 to correct the story.
Anchor Monica Gayle said:
Earlier this year we reported on the pre-trial examination of state contractor Barry Ellentuck who was accused of defrauding the Detroit Land Bank. Ellentuck claims he found inaccuracies submitted by a Detroit demolition company and shared his concerns in a series of emails to land bank officials before the charges against him were filed.
We reported based on certain emails Land Bank Director Carrie Lewand-Monroe was in the loop about possible fraud allegations but testified to the contrary at the proceedings.That was incorrect. Lewand-Monroe testifed that she didn't recall being made aware of the billing inaccuracies and a closer reading of those emails show they do not specifically accuse anyone of fraud and do not prove that Lewand-Monroe knew about such allegations.
"Our apologies for the inaccuracy."
► Update: In a Facebook post linking to this article, Land Bank Authority public affairs director Craig Fahle says: "I am glad that Fox 2 chose to correct their inaccurate and misleading story."