There will be no criminal charges filed related to the city’s relationship with the Make Your Date program or the destruction of city emails about the program. That’s according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel who announced the findings of a years-long investigation during a news conference on Wednesday.
Make Your Date Detroit is affiliated with Wayne State University and is a free maternal health program designed to prevent pre-term births for at-risk mothers.
A whistleblower with a known adversarial history towards Mayor Duggan alleged city employees destroyed emails and Duggan had given special treatment to Make Your Date due to his personal connection with the program’s director.
Nessel said the emails were easily recovered and therefore not destroyed, which would have been a violation. She says while there was no criminal wrongdoing, ethically the City can improve.
“I believe there is ample opportunity to improve upon the operations of city government, especially with regard to transparency and accountability to the residents of Detroit,” says Nessel.
Nessel says there is nothing in the city’s charter or in state law that prohibits Mayor Duggan from giving preferential treatment to entities if money didn’t change hands and therefore is not a crime. But she still rebuked the city’s lack of transparency, saying, “the absence of adequate evidence to charge individuals with crimes does not absolve the parties of their ethical obligations to meet expectations of public trust inherent to their roles as employees and officials of the city of Detroit.”