THURSDAY, Jan. 9 — A top executive of Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s administration, Joan Jackson Johnson, the director of Lansing’s Human Relations and Community Services Department since 2006, has been placed on paid leave after city officials found “issues with contracts” that warranted those findings to be reported to law enforcement.
The City Attorney’s Office recently launched a forensic audit to examine transactions within Jackson Johnson’s department, officials said. As a result of those findings, the office was “obligated” to refer the situation to local, state and federal authorities and place Jackson Johnson on immediate leave earlier today.
“Due to personnel confidentiality, we cannot say anything further,” according to a statement released earlier this afternoon from Schor’s office in response to questions on the matter. “The city has full confidence in the HRCS team to continue to provide the necessary support and services to those in need in the city of Lansing.”
Schor declined to comment. The City Council’s Committee of the Whole will meet on Monday for a closed session to discuss an undisclosed personnel issue — presumably Jackson Johnson’s recent departure. Unanswered questions were directed to the city attorney’s office. Calls there were not returned to City Pulse.
The Human Relations and Community Services Department is designed to “cultivate a community climate of diversity, equity and nondiscrimination,” according to the city website. Staff focus on assessing community needs, developing grant proposals, supporting local nonprofit service providers and other citywide services.
Jackson Johnson was hired by former Mayor Virg Bernero and retained by Schor’s administration Jackson Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment.
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