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East Lansing City Council review finds anonymous complaint "without merit"

City of East Lansing

East Lansing officials found an anonymous complaint against city officials that prompted pushback earlier this year was "without merit."

The complaint had alleged that the mayor, councilmembers the director of diversity, equity and inclusion went behind the city manager's back to give direction to city employees. That would have been a violation of the City Charter, which requires the council to go through the city manager to implement policy and personnel decisions.

Officials were critical of the complaint and said it was motivated by racism.

The city hired Oakland County-based attorney Randall Secontine to investigate those allegations and deliver a final report, which officials said would be made public.

The East Lansing City Council held a special meeting last week to accept the findings.

In a statement, Carrie Sampson, Communications Director with the city, said Secontine found those claims were dubious.

"The City Council wishes to advise the public that the independent review authorized by the City Council and conducted by Randall Secontine found that the assertions of charter violations contained within the anonymous complaint were without merit. The City Attorney concurred with this determination," she said.

The council declined to make the report public.

"The report is attorney-client privileged and will not be made public to protect the identities of those that cooperated with the independent review, to allow the City and its employees to move forward with providing services to its citizens," Sampson said.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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