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Karen Dumas: Will She Stay Or Will She Go?

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vickiethomas2 Vickie Thomas
Vickie Thomas is the City Beat Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950. She was...
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DETROIT (WWJ) – Will she or won’t she leave the mayor’s office as a result of all the controversy swirling around the Bing Administration due to a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against city leaders? WWJ’s City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas has the latest report.

Mayor Dave Bing’s communications director Karen Dumas said she plans to stay in office unless she is asked to leave the administration.

Dumas, along with Bing 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.

“I give my staff the autonomy to do their job. I am not a micro-manager, I am not a babysitter, but I’m held accountable.”

Therefore, Dumas said she holds her staff accountable.

“I do not curse at people. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I might curse but I don’t curse at people. Do I disagree with them? Yes. Am I straight forward? Yes. Am I a ‘B-S’er’? No,” Dumas said.

Collins said Dumas was verbally abusive and blocked the doorway during one tirade, so that Collins could not leave her own office.

Dumas said, the bottom line is she would be worried if the allegations were true, but she has done nothing wrong.

The controversy swirling in the Mayor’s office is also taking center stage at Detroit City Hall.

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.

Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey said the whistle-blower lawsuit and the controversy that has gripped City Hall as a result of it, could not come at a worse time.

“We need all of the Mayor’s resources and his people with us as we continue to deliberate as he brings budget amendments forward,” Spivey said. “It seems like there’s something new every week. It seems that people have talked about, you know in their own circles, but now it’s out in the public now. But again, it’s a distraction.”

Spivey hopes the situation does not overshadow other problems the city has to tackle.

“We’re moving into a summer with unemployment, education in limbo, public safety at risk, and we don’t need this added to the fire, no pun intended, to be distracted from our citizenry and our national image. We don’t need another potential devastating issue in the mayor’s office. So, I trust that he’ll get it done,” Spivey said.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano also weighing in.

“There’s ups and downs, there’s bumps in the road for any administration. So, the test is, does the Mayor have the perseverance to keep moving on and to set his agenda and to move ahead… and I think he has the ability to do that,” Ficano 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 spoke with reporters regarding the lawsuit.  Read that part of the story, here.

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