Legitimate concerns about mayoral ethics "raise a cautionary flag for any businessperson looking to invest in Detroit right now," business journalist Chad Livengood writes in a commentary about Mike Duggan's integrity.
"That integrity now has doubts swirling about it," says his Crain's Detroit Business column.
For months, unanswered questions have lingered about Duggan's relationship with Sonia Hassan, a Wayne State University doctor who founded a program focused on improving health of Detroit women and lowering the city's high rate of infant mortality. . . .
His office has given contradicting answers about . . . fundraising efforts [on behalf of her Make Your Date nonprofit]. And both Duggan and Hassan have refused to comment on whether they had a relationship that was anything other than professional before, during or after the period of time in which the mayor's administration forked over a six-figure grant to Hassan's program.
Livengood, a senior editor at Crain's, recaps a Detroit Free Press scoop Friday revealing that the Duggan administration deleted emails about fundraising for Make Your Date:
This is all now part of a probe by the city's Office of Inspector General. . . . [The] allegations also caught the attention of Attorney General Dana Nessel, who ordered her criminal division to reopen a review of the claims that someone higher up in Duggan's administration ordered an email purge.
"Our criminal division was going to stand down and when Dana heard about it she said, 'Hell no, we're taking a look at it ourselves,'" Nessel spokeswoman Kelly Rossman-McKinney said Friday.
Nothing that global and regional business leaders "have invested in Detroit with confidence that they can trust Duggan and city government," Livengood concludes:
But until these questions are answered, that confidence could very well be in jeopardy.