Detroit's CFO suspended for racial remark at meeting

Detroit's CFO suspended for racial remark at meeting

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(WJBK) -

Detroit's chief financial officer has been suspended after allegations that he made a racially insensitive comment during a meeting. A spokesman for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr says Bonsall has been suspended with pay while the incident is investigated.

Jim Bonsall apologized Thursday in a statement issued by the office of state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr that he didn't intend to offend anyone. Orr's office says Bonsall has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report the city's recently demoted finance director, Cheryl Johnson, said in a letter to Orr that Bonsall created a hostile work environment - especially for minority women. Bonsall is white and Johnson is black.

The letter said Bonsall, during a meeting about the city's annual anti-arson patrols planned for around Halloween, asked if he could "shoot someone in a hoodie."

Mike Duggan has released a statement responding to Bonsall's alleged remarks:

"The people of Detroit deserve to have confidence in their government. The statements attributed to Mr. Bonsall are inexcusable, offensive, and undermine the public trust. It is hard to see how Mr. Bonsall can continue to function effectively at city hall. If he did, in fact, make the statements attributed to him, he should put the interests of the public first and promptly resign his position."

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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