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.