Michigan Civil Rights Commission declines director finalist with Flint water crisis ‘luggage’ – MLive.com

15June 2020

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission on Monday, June 15, decreased to hire its sole finalist for the open Department of Civil Rights director task, based in part on his ties to previous Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and

the Flint water crisis. The vote to hire Harvey Hollins III, former director of the Michigan Office of Urban Initiatives, tied 4-4 and stopped working. Hollins would have changed Michigan Department of Civil Rights Director Agustin Arbulu, whom the commission fired following an examination into sexist comments he made. The commission trimmed a field of almost 65 to 2 finalists: previous Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett Jr. and Hollins, a top assistant to Snyder

. Mallett, nevertheless, withdrew his name last month after being named as Detroit's deputy mayor.

The director position, which pays between $ 160,000 and $ 170,000, is being resumed to candidates, the commission said Monday. The commission voted 5-4 to allow Interim Civil Rights Commission Director Mary Engelman to make an application for the position. She was formerly not enabled to send for the position when the commission began compiling the preliminary candidate pool following Arbulu's departure.

Multiple commissioners said the outcomes of a staff member study played into their choice to vote against the hiring of Hollins, particularly remarks over concerns about Hollins' ties to the Flint water crisis. Prior to Monday's vote, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office confirmed that Hollins is not a target of any known lawsuits or criminal examinations connected to the crisis.

“Our 2017 report on the Flint water crisis specifically found that bigotry was an essential consider the crisis, “Commissioner Zenna Faraj Elhasan said.”And I think hiring a prospect who was involved in that crisis goes directly against everything that department need to avoid which the commission is implied to safeguard versus.”

Hollins previously affirmed in court that he warned the previous governor of growing issues about lead levels in Flint water in July and August 2015– months before Snyder has said he ultimately concluded the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality had actually under-estimated the threat.

“I was not surprised that … the study of the employees of the department said that they absolutely did not want somebody who had any ties to the Flint water crisis or any other similar questionable minute,” stated Commissioner Portia L. Roberson, who recognized herself as a friend of Hollins.” … He's a good guy, but we are in a position today where we simply moved far from a director who was associated with things that were dubious.”

Commissioner Jeffrey J. Sakwa, who enacted favor of employing Hollins, stated it”really bothers” him that Hollins is”being penalized for something he's not accountable for.”

Commission Chair Stacie Clayton, Vice Chair Laura R. Kopack, Sakwa and Commissioner Ira Combs enacted favor of employing Hollins; Commisioners Regina Gasco-Bentley, Denise Grim, Elhasan and Roberson voted versus.

Clayon indicated a majority of the commission formerly revealed assistance for hiring Hollins

.” While the assistance may have been there very early on, on paper, after you learn more about somebody, you decide based upon those truths that have actually been put prior to you,” Elhasan said.” … It's sort of unimportant that there was support early on.”

A timeline for assembling a new prospect pool, conducting interviews and making a selection hasn't been launched.

More on MLive: Harvey Hollins said he warned Snyder

Arbulu dismissed over sexist comments Gov. calls for Arbulu resignation

Whitmer prohibits Arbulu from cabinet meetings Source: mlive.com

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