Detroit city councilmembers admonished the Duggan administration for its response to the Make Your Date scandal at a council hearing Tuesday, ordering that officials be disciplined for the deletion of emails pertaining to the program and taking initial steps to strengthen city rules on document retention.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave preferential treatment to Make Your Date, a prenatal program run by a woman with whom he's been linked, a report by the city's inspector general determined last week. And chief of Staff Alexis Wiley abused her authority by twice ordering officials to have low-level staff delete emails pertaining to the program. Duggan ignored Inspector General Ellen Ha's recommendation that he discipline Wiley and two others involved.
From the Free Press:
... Council President Brenda Jones said she wants an ordinance requiring the preservation of city emails for at least five years.
"I don't care anything about a policy. I want law," Jones said, referencing the corruption that led to prison time for former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other city officials. "Been there once, don't want to go through it again. ... I want something on the books. An ordinance."
The council also wants to study ways to ensure a fair and transparent selection process for organizations hired to carry out mayoral initiatives. The inspector general's report found that Duggan gave the Make Your Date program preferential treatment as part of the city's fight against infant mortality.
The council instructed its staff to work with the city legal department to draft an ordinance that would provide stronger language than current operational rules to prevent similar instances of email deletions.
Councilmember Raquel Castaneda-Lopez advised that the Duggan administration work to address the issues outlined in the report in order "to grow."
"When this administration has received critique, the response has been to defend and attack," she said. "There has to be a culture shift within the administration that moves to one ... of fostering trust."