New civil rights chief to be chosen next week

    Ken Coleman photo

    After more than six months without a permanent executive director, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) will have its final candidate for the position chosen by next week.

    The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has been conducting a national search for a permanent department director since October. The commissioners fired former MDCR director Augustin Arbulu in August, after he came under fire for making sexist comments to a coworker.

    Arbulu’s deputy, Mary Engelman, was named acting director of the department before being appointed as interim director in November.

    Civil Rights Commission votes to fire Arbulu

    On Saturday, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced that they had met with the four remaining candidates at a special meeting in Detroit earlier that day — and, after some deliberation, they had further narrowed the field of candidates down to two.

    The two finalists are: Conrad Mallett Jr., the chief administrative officer of Detroit Medical Center and a former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court; and Harvey Hollins III, the principal and founder of Hollins Consulting LLC, and previously a top aide to former Gov. Rick Snyder.

    Those two candidates will undergo a final interview with commissioners in Detroit on either Monday, March 9 or Wednesday, March 11 with the exact date and time to be announced soon. At the conclusion of that special meeting, the commissioners will choose the MDCR’s permanent executive director.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).