DETROIT (WWJ) – Named in a whistle-blower lawsuit along with the city of Detroit and Mayor Dave Bing, communications director Karen Dumas is speaking to reporters regarding claims against her.
Dumas says, the bottom line is she would be worried the allegations were true, but she has done nothing wrong.
“If I were a man, we wouldn’t have this conversation. If the mayor were a woman, you know, we wouldn’t have this conversation… I mean, I work. I’ve worked hard, and I’m sincere in my commitment,” said Dumas.
Bing’s former executive assistant Rochelle Collins is suing the city and Dumas for wrongful dismissal. Collins said it was stressful working with Dumas, who she says is responsible for most of the turnover in Bing’s administration.
An anonymous letter sent to City Council members late last month expresses a similar sentiment; the author alleging that the Mayor’s office has become a “hostile work environment.” (More on this, here).
Also revealed in the lawsuit are allegations that Bing has been lobbying to become an Emergency Financial Manager for the city and the Detroit Public Schools.
Dumas has come to Bing’s defense, contending that the mayor wouldn’t make the same mistakes as disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
“I assure you, this administration, this mayor, would not duplicate the very situation that he was elected to address. That’s not here. I know a lot of people are anxious for a scandal. You aren’t gonna find one here,” she said.
While Dumas said she has no immediate plans to resign, a source talking to WWJ’s Vickie Thomas said Dumas will leave Bing’s office soon.
At least one City Council member is calling for her dismissal.
In a statement to the media, Kwame Kenyatta said the mayor’s office has been plagued by disruptive staffing shifts, and, in order for Bing to move his administration and this city forward, he must take immediate action to clean up these problems.
“I further believe that Karen Dumas is symptomatic of these problems and therefore should resign from office immediately. Dumas’s speedy resignation is the only effective way to dampen the upsurge in more negative media publicity, the potentially harmful effects of which Karen Dumas should understand better than anyone else as Mayor Bing’s Chief Communications Officer,” Kenyatta said.
Bing has said he planned to talk to Dumas soon, regarding her future with his administration. Former Channel 4 news anchor, and current Detroit Medical Center communications director, Emery King is reportedly in line for the job.
Collins and Bing are also speaking with reporters regarding the lawsuit. Read that part of the story, here.