Carol Dillon, the ex-wife of Michigan's treasurer, received a personal protection order Jan. 10 against Detroit News reporter Leonard Fleming after saying Fleming had threatened to kill her with a baseball bat.
Carol Dillon also said Fleming harassed her numerous times and once texted her a photo of his penis, according to a Wayne County Circuit Court document. She said the message was: "I would be missing this if I discontinued being his friend."
When given a choice on the legal form to identify Fleming as a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, spouse, ex-spouse, friend or neighbor, Dillon checked "friend."
She is 50 and he's 43, according to a Detroit Free Press article about the situation. She and state Treasurer Andy Dillon, an appointee who earns more than $174,000 annually, have been divorced three months.
Fleming has been a Detroit city hall reporter for The News for several years. Andy Dillon is quoted frequently in city hall coverage as Gov. Rick Snyder's point person in crafting the consent decree with Detroit concerning the city's precarious finances. Fleming wrote numerous stories last year in which Dillon was a main player.
According to Carol Dillon’s PPO filing, she also claims Fleming repeatedly harassed her with phone calls and text messages.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Lynne Pierce entered a personal protection order on Jan. 10 without a hearing. The order forbids Fleming from contacting Carol Dillon in person, by phone or mail, or entering onto her property.
Fleming declined to comment and Carol Dillon could not be reached.
Scary threat this month
The request for the order lays out multiple incidents of harassment, including an incident on Jan. 5 in which Carol Dillon claims Fleming and a friend “proceeded to say they will find me and kill me with a baseball bat.”
On Jan. 3, Carol Dillon writes, "Leonard Fleming called me twice on this day harassing me non-stop" with a "barrage of insults and threats." She wrote that Fleming "was very very pissed off at me for not being friends" and "wanting to stop talking to him."
She also wrote "Leonard called me harassing me telling me he wanted to be friends and was looking for more of a relationship."
Wrote Dillon: "He kept threatening me by saying I would be sorry if I didn't see him."
She added: "The tone in his voice of 'I'll be sorry' was making me very scared for my life. I could not get a single word in the conversation b/c he kept threatening I would be sorry."
Fleming told her he would come to her house and "he would kill me and tear me up with a baseball bat," she asserts.
Job loss feared
Carol Dillon wrote that Fleming feared he could be fired if she took her complaints to authorities.
The documents also contain information Dillon provides about a complaint that Fleming and a woman filed with Berkley police over an allegation Carol Dillon has stolen tennis rackets from a car. Dillon said the complaint was dropped. Berkley police could not comment Wednesday afternoon.
Carol Dillon filed for divorce from Andy Dillon in March 2012, citing a “breakdown of the marriage relationship.” The divorce was granted in October by Wayne County Circuit Judge Susan Hubbard.
Fleming's current status with the paper is unclear. Detroit News managing editor Don Nauss says Fleming remains on the staff but has been on vacation and will return to work Thursday. Nauss confirmed Fleming is off the city hall beat.
"He is no longer covers the finances of the city of Detroit," said Nauss. "In light of some of the information uncovered today we are exploring whether other actions will be appropriate."