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Michigan sheriff apologizes for discriminatory statements

February 20, 2018

In this April 18, 2017 photo ,Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand shows the current visiting area at the Jackson County Jail's Wesley Street in Jackson, Mich. Jackson County Lt. Tommy Schuette's filed a federal lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Steven Rand on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. The lawsuit alleges Rand created a hostile work environment and harassed Schuette because of his disability. It also alleges the county didn't take action when Schuette reported Rand's behavior and aren't giving him proper disability coverage. (J. Scott Park/Jackson Citizen Patriot via AP)

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff has apologized for his offensive remarks but intends to remain in his position.

Jackson County Lt. Tommy Schuette is suing Sheriff Steven Rand over allegations of creating a hostile work environment, the Jackson Citizen Patriot reported .

The lawsuit alleges Rand made insulting remarks against black people, women and Hispanic people. The suit also alleges Rand mocked the lieutenant for his work-related hearing loss. Schuette’s attorney released recordings of Rand’s comments last week.

Rand confirmed that he’s the one on the recordings.

“I am not going to deny when I heard those tapes, I wanted to believe that that wasn’t my voice. But it sure sounds like me,” Rand said. “All I can do is take ownership of them. What I really want to say is: I apologize to everyone I have hurt.”

Rand said he can’t explain his statements but that he’s spent the last week trying to make amends. Rand said he has contacted the Michigan Civil Rights Commission for recommendations on how to move forward and plans to undergo some sort of training.

“I am not a person that likes leaving messes for other people to clean up,” Rand said. “And I intend to resolve this issue.”

Many local leaders have condemned Rand’s offensive statements. Some have called for his resignation.

“Statements and sentiments such as these are not reflective of the values, morals, and core principles that the Jackson County Republican Party stands for,” the party chairman wrote in a statement.

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Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot, http://www.mlive.com/jackson

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