DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – State Senator Coleman Young wants an independent prosecutor to launch an investigation into Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s involvement in the city’s demolition program.
Young, who is running for mayor, is alleging a misuse of funds in the program. He said Duggan has a special relationship with the U-S Attorney’s Office — and so their investigation can’t be fair.
“Everywhere he’s been there’s been a federal investigation,” Young told WWJ. “If he’s not corrupt then he just crushes on federal investigations a lot. So the bottom line is we need a special prosecutor to make sure we have integrity and transparency in this investigation and this process.”
Duggan’s office dismissed Young’s comments, citing that Young is simply out to smear the Mayor’s name.
It was reported last week that Detroit’s massive demolition program has become the subject of a federal grand jury probe, with as many as 30 contractors and city agencies subpoenaed to testify or provide documents.
This all comes after a review early this year uncovered about $7.3 million in billing issues tied to the demolition program, resulting in a temporary halt to federal funding. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority said that some federal funds used by the Detroit Land Bank Authority were improperly reimbursed, but the city said controls have since been tightened.
Vowing to clean up the neighborhoods, Duggan pushed the program that has led to the demolition of more than 11,000 dilapidated structures in Detroit.