Recovered MYD Emails
Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence García
Announces Posting of Recovered MYD Emails
Recently, I have been asked whether City emails related to the Wayne State University’s Make Your Date program were properly preserved. In responding to those questions, I indicated that I believed all deleted emails had been recovered and provided to the Detroit Office of the Inspector General in early May. I promised to post the emails in question online for the public to read as soon as the Inspector General indicated that doing so would not impair the investigation, an indication we have now received. If any further emails are discovered in the future, we will add them to the posting, which the public can now view by clicking "Recovered MYD Emails Combined” link below.
The emails come from dates in late 2017 and 2018. They are electronic correspondence belonging to two junior staff members of the Detroit Office of Development and Grants (ODG) concerning their work with Wayne State University (WSU) to identify charitable contributions for WSU’s Make Your Date program – an effort that has helped thousands of pregnant women and babies. Reducing infant mortality has been a long-standing priority for Detroit, and Make Your Date’s mission aligns with the City’s goal of helping expectant mothers.
The City’s ODG staff coordinated their fundraising efforts with Susan Miller, WSU Medical School’s Director of Research Philanthropy. There is no reference in these emails to raising money for a separate nonprofit. The two ODG staff members connected to these emails acted with diligence and complete integrity throughout a year-long effort.
To put matters in perspective, the City’s ODG team has raised tens of millions of dollars for Invest Detroit for the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, tens of millions for DESC for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, and ODG has helped in fundraising for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Black Family Development, the Community Education Commission, and others. The emails show ODG’s Make Your Date efforts were less fruitful, producing one lead for the Carls Foundation that WSU staff subsequently pursued independently for a $50,000 grant.
The Inspector General has announced that she is currently investigating the circumstances giving rise to the deletion and retrieval of the emails; her office will determine whether any violation occurred. Out of respect for that process, I will not comment on that until the investigation is complete.
In the meantime, people can view for themselves what is contained in the emails by clicking "Recovered MYD Emails Combined” link below.
Lawrence T. García
Detroit Corporation Counsel