Daily Briefs

Sergeant who alleged ridicule over genetic test settles case

HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) — A police sergeant who says he was ridiculed on the job in western Michigan after a genetic test showed he was part black has settled a lawsuit over his treatment for $65,000.

The agreement obtained by The Grand Rapids Press using Freedom of Information Act request says Hastings police Sgt. Cleon Brown will be on paid administrative leave until Oct. 31, when he’ll resign.

After the Ancestry.com test, Brown says he was subjected to racial taunts including someone placing a black Santa Claus figurine in his Christmas stocking at the police station and officers whispering “Black Lives Matter.”

City Manager Jeff Mansfield says the settlement allows Hastings “to focus its efforts and resources on more productive endeavors.”

The city earlier said Brown started the trouble by joking about the results.


Lawsuit alleges discrimination in Detroit demolition program

DETROIT (AP) — A minority-owned business that’s participated in Detroit federally funded demolition program is alleging racial discrimination by city officials.

A federal lawsuit from Direct Construction Services and its managing member, Timothy Drakeford, who is black, says he was treated unfairly. It says program officials conspired to have Drakeford suspended for refusing to falsify documents and for cooperating with the FBI.

The recent lawsuit names Mayor Mike Duggan, the city’s land bank, the building authority and others.

Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia defended the suspension, saying Drakeford’s claims are “just sour grapes.” Garcia says in a statement that Drakeford manipulated a photo of a demolition site and “gave information that was not truthful” to investigators.

Detroit’s demolition program has been under scrutiny since 2015 amid concerns about demolition costs and bidding practices.


Feds try to grab 401(k) of city manager who stole $1.8M

NEWAYGO, Mich. (AP) — Nearly 20 years later, authorities still are trying to collect money from a former city manager in western Michigan who admits stealing $1.8 million.

Randy Young was the city manager in Newaygo. He’s only paid roughly $17,000 and is objecting to the government’s effort to grab his retirement account from a commercial uniform laundry company.

The government says Young now owes $4.4 million, including interest. In a recent court filing, he says his 401(k) is protected under federal law and Florida law. He lives in Orlando, Florida.

In 2000, Young was sentenced to 3½ years in federal prison. He said he took money from Newaygo to compensate for “harassment” from residents.