DETROIT (WWJ) – Amid a whistle-blower lawsuit, two top mayoral aides will leave Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s administration. Speaking briefly to reporters Friday afternoon, Bing said his communications director Karen Dumas and chief of staff, Shannon Holmes have resigned.
Former aide Kirk Lewis is set to return as Holmes’ replacement. Holmes will stay on for two weeks to help with the transition.
“The controversy of the last few days cannot and will not be a distraction to me or my administration,” Bing said.
“I’m returning the focus to where it belongs, on what I’ve done and will continue to do to address the challenges facing our city. I will remain focused on the tasks at hand and more forward,” he said.
Bing said his administration will immediately begin a search for a new communications chief.
He did not take questions from reporters.
The shakeup comes as Mayor Bing, along with Dumas and the City of Detroit, is being sued by former mayoral aide Rochelle Collins 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.
The lawsuit characterizes Dumas as a chaos-causing, vindictive micro-manager, but she refutes that.
“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.
Following the news of her resignation, Dumas told reporters that she is sad to go.
“I love my job, you know, I was enjoying it, and, most importantly, my staff. I mean, young, energetic, educated, enthusiastic … I will certainly miss them in a professional capacity,” Dumas said.
Dumas said her resignation was a mutual decision and is what is best for the city.
“I think my departure will deter a lot of unnecessary interest and turmoil and allow the mayor the realize the stability that he needs to move his agenda forward,” she said, adding that she will continue to support the city and the mayor.
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