House Dem leader calls for state’s civil rights chief to resign

    Christine Greig (left) and Augustin Arbulu (right)

    State House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) is calling on Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Director Augustin Arbulu to resign, following a formal reprimand for an unknown “inappropriate comment.”

    As the Advance previously reported, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission late last month voted to place a formal reprimand in Arbulu’s file during a closed session. The exact nature of Arbulu’s remarks is still unclear, but in a statement last week he expressed regret for comments that he classified as “objectifying women.” 

    Greig now wants him gone. 

    “The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charged with an essential constitutional and statutory mandate — to secure the equal protection of every Michigander’s civil rights, free from discrimination,” Greig said in a statement on Wednesday. 

    Panel reprimands Michigan civil rights director for ‘inappropriate’ comments

    “To be successful, the Department and its leadership must have the full confidence and trust of the public it serves. As a result of troubling comments made by MDCR Director Agustin Arbulu, by his own admission, he has lost Michiganders’ confidence and trust, and mine,” Greig continued. “Under the circumstances, I do not believe that Director Arbulu can effectively lead MDCR. It is in the best interest of the Department and its vital mandate that Director Arbulu resign immediately.”

    Arbulu was appointed to the state’s Civil Rights Commission in 2013 by former Gov. Rick Snyder, and became director of the Department of Civil Rights in 2015. 

    Current Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lacks the power to hire or fire the department’s director, but has asked the Civil Rights Commission why Arbulu remains in the position.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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