LeDuff: Notes of a Madman -- Sheriff Nessel, Mayor Mike, Gas-Tax Gretch and More

August 29, 2019, 11:17 PM by  Charlie LeDuff

Charlie LeDuff is author of “Detroit: An American Autopsy” and the host of the No Bullshit Newshour.

Before I head up north to my country shack and get my Labor Day drink on, I'm cleaning up the notes, scrap papers and scribblings of tips from people in the know.

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New sheriff to charge Snyder? 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Gov. Rick Snyder's camp is worried about possible charges from new Attorney General Dana Nessel. According to those close to the former governor, they believe Nessel may be preparing charges against Snyder, alleging that he mishandled public money used to defend himself in the Flint water debacle.

It's got nothing to do with poisoned water and Legionnaires deaths. But if nothing else, it's a neat election year spectacle -- a classic misdirect.

Someone from Nessel's office tweeted Thursday (on a different matter): “There's a new sheriff in town,” but did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the meantime, sources within "Wyatt" Nessel's office say the Flint investigation is bogged down in bureaucracy and lack of guidance. I'm told investigators are busy cross-checking documents gathered by the previous investigative team, who Nessel fired earlier this year in the course of dropping all criminal charges and starting the probe over.

Maybe the sheriff should open an investigation into the administration of Mayor Karen Weaver, who is dogged with allegations of bid-rigging contracts for replacement of the lead water pipes in Flint.

Going . . . going . . .


It's a veritable scurry for the door as the rats begin to abandon ship in Mayor Mike Duggan's administration. The latest is Tom Lewand, 73, his director of development. Now it is natural for people in public office to retire or seek greener, more lucrative pastures after serving a term in the public sector.

Fair enough. But word has it the federal noose is tightening in the demolition scandal, not to mention the federal probe into the police department's narcotics unit, the Fiat Chrysler factory deal, the HUD money and City Council. (Councilman Gabe Leland is under federal indictment for bribery and is still voting on everything.) Nerves are frayed, development deals limp along.

Chances that Duggan runs for a third term are waning, say those who talk to both the mayor and me. Where are you, Mr. Mayor?

You've got fail 


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is stuck in the mud. Her lame-brained 45-cent a gallon increase is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled legislature in Lansing.

Her tax-em-all plan is so bad she's made the Republicans look like the party of the working people. Calling Bernie Sanders.

So Whitmer awaits an alternative budget plan from the GOP to bail her out. That budget is required by law to be passed by October 1st.

Twitter mudslinging is in full effect, with Republicans posting a GIF of a toilet in a pothole.

If I were the Speaker of the House, I'd call for a vote on her budget, watch it go down in flames, and send the ashes back to her desk. That's one of the moves I'm hearing is under consideration by the GOP.

In any event, the only thing Gas Tax Gretch can point to as a success in her first year is the auto insurance reform that doesn't appear to have lowered anyone's insurance rates.

Whitmer is learning there is more to governing than throwing shit against the road.

Sock puppet theater 


Detroit Police Chief James Craig is at it again. He held a media confab to say new body-cam video that captured a Detroit police officer beating a deranged citizen silly at the hospital may in fact provide proof that the woman had it coming.

The media ate it up like seals to the sardine pail.

So much for the facial recognition brouhaha. The spiraling violent crime rate. Citizens who call 911 being placed on hold.

And don't forget last week's scandal: The narcotics crew allegedly stealing cocaine from evidence lock-up and the shaking down of dope dealers. It's the second time it's happened under the chief in five years.

Last week, internal affairs raided the narcotics unit, seizing hard drives and paper files. Why the Detroit police are handling evidence against Detroit police who mishandled evidence is anyone's guess.


But who's asking? Another sardine please.

Told you so                           

I've been saying it for three years now. The UAW Solidarity House appears to be nothing more than a den of cheap-suited thieves. Eight convictions and counting. The latest? The feds raided the Canton home of UAW Gary Jones. I mean, who keeps cash in the garage?

And you wonder why the southern autoworkers don't need them around anyhow.

Dammit, I'm mad. Tell me folks, what's really changed in Detroit? 

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Photo Of The Day 

Potd__mg_2515_419 Building taking is time being reclaimed by land. Spotted near Hamilton Ave.

By: Michael Lucido