'Mayor Duggan Should Come Clean' on Relationship with Sonia Hassan -- Detroit News Editorial

April 14, 2019, 11:54 AM

A drumbeat grows for frank talk from Detroit's mayor about his fundraising support for a woman who may be more than a professional contact.

Six days after the Free Press broke news of Mike Duggan's work with Dr. Sonia Hassan of Wayne State, a Detroit News editorial says:

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan owes the city a more thorough explanation of his relationship with a woman who runs a local charity he's accused of improperly using city resources to assist.

Duggan, at a press conference last week, repeatedly refused to answer questions about the nature of his friendship with Dr. Sonia Hassan, the volunteer head of Make Your Date, a charity affiliated with Wayne State University that works to prevent premature births.

Dr. Sonia Hassan is the focus of "concerns that Duggan improperly used city resources to help a friend," as The News puts it. 

The 16-paragraph editorial acknowledges the elected leader's "right to a certain degree of privacy," unless "personal friendships . . . impact his public role as mayor."

And there's reason to believe that is the case here. . . . 

The fundraiser never happened. But it did raise concerns that Duggan improperly used city resources to help a friend.

Dr. Hassan, an obstetrician and gynecologist, is professor and associate dean for maternal, perinatal and child health at WSU. She's 50 and lives in Novi. Detroit's second-term mayor is 60.

The News praises Make Your Date for "doing important work" and says:

It's understandable that Duggan would want to offer the city's support. But if that assistance grew out of an improper relationship between him and Hassan, then there are ethical questions that should be addressed.

The mayor should be much more forthcoming about that relationship.

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Read more:  The Detroit News

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