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Audit Reveals Lansing Human Relations Director Misused City Funds

Lansing skyline
WKAR File Photo
An independent audit concludes Lansing Human Relations and Community Service Director Joan Jackson Johnson misused city funds and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

An audit commissioned by the city of Lansing finds one of its department directors mismanaged city funds to benefit several groups with which she has close ties. 


The audit by the accounting firm Plante Moran concludes Lansing Human Relations and Community Services director Joan Jackson Johnson channeled more than $1.3 million to local nonprofits.  Among them is the group One Church One Family, of which Johnson serves as executive director.


The audit claims Johnson requested and then herself approved many of these transactions and concealed their documentation. 


 In a written statement, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says the audit alleges “improprieties and inconsistencies with our local ordinances, state law and federal regulations.” 


Johnson has been on paid administrative leave since January 9.  Lansing officials say no decisions have been made regarding her employment.


In the meantime, former Human Relations and Community Services director Willard Walker will resume his post as acting director.  





Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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